Summer 2014

Every single thing I do in May and June feels like a step towards this goal. These months are a constant closing of folders and a countdown to lazy days spent on the beach. Why can’t it be summer all the time?

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Istanbul in redscale

I have shared my love for Istanbul many times (well, twice) before. Today I found out that later this year I will be lucky enough to visit it for the second time. Although this visit is for academic reasons and no Istanbul trip will ever be as special as Elcin’s wedding, I am extremely excited to have the opportunity of visiting such a fascinating city again. These photos were taken with lomography redscale film.

Istanbul Istanbul Istanbul Istanbul Istanbul Istanbul Istanbul Istanbul Istanbul Istanbul

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2014 playlist

Three weeks into the new year and people are still wishing each other a happy one. This is starting to really annoy me, I just want to forget about christmas and new years and get on with my life. But here I am, sharing my 2014 playlist one month late. This is simply a collection of songs from 2014 that I really love. Last year I spent most of my commute reading, which together with some really bad months, has kept me away from music. Hell, I didn’t even go to many concerts apart from Obits, Primavera Sound and the Great Cynics/Joyce Manor/Cheap Girls show in Trier. This playlist, although hurriedly made during the last week of the year, really takes me away from the bad months and fills me with positivity, so I plan on making it the soundtrack to the beginning of 2015.

 

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2014: What I read

As usual, here is the list of books I finished last year. It’s a pretty mixed list. 2014 was a hard and stressful year, which made me turn to books to keep myself sane. When life becomes a little bit too much books are the only thing that allow me to lose myself for a while, not even watching films will do. Overall I’m really happy with this list. There’s a bit of everything that matters to me; some guilty pleasures, some easy reads, some classics, some Nazi stuff, music, films… I think it’s a good mix. I had a great time, I learnt, I laughed, I cried, I shuddered and I wish some of those books never ended. 2014 was also the first year when I could read a book in German without constantly thinking “oh man, I’m reading in German!” or looking up words, which makes me feel really great. I read a couple more that I had to give up due to boredom, so overall I spent a good while reading in German, who would’ve thought.

If you are curious you can check out what I read in 2008, what I read in 2009, what I read in 2010 and what I read in 2013.

 

Angelou, Maya – Gather Together in My Name

Anger, Kenneth – Hollywood Babylon

Arfin, Lesley – Dear Diary

Ashdown, Isabel – Summer of ’76

Bolaño, Roberto – La Pista de Hielo

Boyd, William – Waiting for Sunrise

Bryan, Helen – War Brides

Burroughs, Augusten – Dry

Bynner, John – Twenty-something in the 1990s: Getting On, Getting By, Getting Nowhere

de Cervantes, Miguel – El Licenciado Vidriera

Christie, Agatha – And Then There Were None

Christie, Agatha – Peril at End House

Christie, Agatha – The ABC Murders

Christie, Agatha – The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

Crott, Randi – Erzähl es niemandem! Die Liebesgesichte meiner Eltern

Dahl, Roald – Matilda

Dickens, Charles – Little Dorrit

Erikson, Erik – Identity and the Life Cycle

Eugenides, Jeffrey – The Marriage Plot

Eyre, Pilar – La Soledad de la Reina Sofía

Feig, Paul  – Kick Me: Adventures in Adolescence

Fiske, John – Understanding Popular Culture

Flynn, Gillian – Gone Girl

Forrester, Helen – Liverpool Daisy

Gaskell, Elizabeth – North and South

Gribbin, John – Not Fade Away: The Life and Music of Buddy Holly

Haaf Meredith – Dejad de Lloriquear. Sobre una Generación y sus Problemas Superfluos

Haffner, Sebastian – Defying Hitler: A Memoir

Haffner, Sebastian – The Meaning of Hitler

Harris, Peter – El Enigma Vivaldi

Heywood, Colin – A History of Childhood

Klemperer, Victor – I Will Bear Witness: A Diary of the Nazi Years 1933-1941

Klosterman, Chuck – Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto

Leland, John – Hip: The History

Maranda, Elizabeth – Telegram. A Collection of 27 Issues

Martín Gaite, Carmen – Entre Visillos

du Maurier, Daphne – Rebecca

Mendoza, Eduardo – El Misterio de la Cripta Embrujada

Modell, John – Into One’s Own: From Youth to Adulthood in the United States 1920-1975

Morrissey – Autobiography

Palahniuk, Chuck – Snuff

Pardo Bazán, Emilia – Un Viaje de Novios

Powell, Margaret – Below Stairs

Rowell, Rainbow – Eleanor & Park

Rowell, Rainbow – Fangirl

Rutherfurd, Edward – Paris

Schlink, Bernhard – The Weekend

Shaffer, Mary Ann – The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society

Sharpe, Katherine – Coming of Age on Zoloft. How Antidepressans Cheered Us Up, Brought Us Down, and Changed Who We Are

Smith, Zadie – NW

Steinbeck John – East of Eden

Sternberg, Emma – Breznkönigin

Vonnegut, Kurt – Slapstick or Lonesome No More!

Williams, John – Stoner

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“Summer” in the north

gijón, spain

gijón, spain

gijón, spain

gijón, spain

gijón, spain

gijón, spain

gijón, spain

gijón, spain

I really didn’t expect these photos to come up when I went to collect a couple of rolls earlier today. They’re from a solitary trip to Gijón for my first ever conference last year. Although it doesn’t look like it, they were taken in June, and I brought home a cold that lasted the first weeks of the summer. The north coast of Spain is definitely worth a visit if you’re into good food and pretty green landscapes.

 

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Istanbul in black and white

 

When I went to Istanbul last year to have one of the best times of my life, one of the things that shocked me the most about that wonderful city is how different each area looks. Istanbul doesn’t look like a city, but like a dozen cities thrown together. I really hope I can go back soon. istanbul black and white

istanbul black and white

istanbul black and white

istanbul black and white

istanbul black and white

 

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Sex and the City makes me hate women

I am watching Sex and the City for the first time and blogging my impressions as I watch. You can read the first part (s01E01-S01E04) here.

S01E05

I’m sick and tired of these supposedly cool and chic events, they all look like a drag and all the girls do is wait. Wait to be served, wait to get it, wait to find a man. Can’t they just go to the bar and talk about anal sex?

Is there going to be shoe shopping in every episode?

carrie bradshaw ugly outfit

I have a feather boa like that that I bought for fancy dress when I was 8.

For someone who makes a living as a writer, Carrie appears to read remarkably little.

So all the Italian Carrie ever needs to know is “Dolce, Dolce, Dolce.” This kind of superficiality and lack of interest in anything infuriates me.

Oh my god, I hate every secondary character that appears in the show. Did they have to fill the show with dicks in order to make the girls remotely likeable?

I would never ever eat somewhere where the waiters have to wear golden shirts.

And just in case you forgot about the beautiful/dumb vs ugly/clever dichotomy:

I think you’re too beautiful to be a writer.”

Well, I’ve never woken up after sex to find a thousand dollars on my bedside table. I’d better have a word with the boy. So that’s it, Carrie talking about her “hooker money” instead of asking her annoying friend or the hotel for the guy’s number so that she can, you know, clarify that she’s not a whore.

Of course Charlotte hates the C-word! First LOL-worthy moment.

beautiful cunt sex and the city charlotte

 

 

s01e06

I give a big NO to the naked dress. I find the whole conversation about sleeping with someone on the first date as old as the one about kissing on the first date. If you wanna do it, go for it! If you don’t want to do it, don’t do it! Those stupid rules remind me of when my best friend and I watched American Pie for the first time as teenagers and then elaborated a long, elaborate list of the different bases and argued about the order in which they’d go (base 10 was doing it all again with someone of the same sex as you). That said, if you claim you don’t want to have sex on the first date with someone, why on earth would you wear that ridiculous naked dress?

carrie bradshaw the naked dress

She basically has sex coming out of her crotch.

While we’re on the subject of fashion, who told Carrie pigtails in grown women are a good look?

carrie sex and the city wearing pigtails

And then, come on, what columnist has massive ads on buses featuring pictures of themselves posing sexily? AS IF!

carrie bradshaw penis

But of course this was going to happen!

 

S01E07

Finally a realistic conversation that I can imagine having with my friends. It’s only taken, what, four episodes of bullshit?

miranda i only give head to get head

+1 point to Miranda.

Interesting that Skipper would be the bastard to do this:

you're breaking up with me while you're still inside of me?

 

Why doesn’t Carrie even say anything to Mr. Big about the fact that he seems to be dating every other woman in NY? Does she have no self respect? If they’re hanging out to the point that her friends complain about not seeing her, shouldn’t she have had the talk about seeing other people? I’m very confused.

What are your plans for the future?

Well, I plan on getting a lot of blowjobs in the future.”

It’s so obvious that this guy is getting his balls licked by his dog…

S01E08

One thing is looking at somebody’s ex on facebook, I’m sure we’ve all been there, but pitching her a book and becoming intimate in order to find out stuff about their relationship is a bit extreme, amiright? Why the hell is Miranda asking her therapist if he’d have a threesome with her? We’re seeing all kinds of female insecurity in this episode and they all come from external sources, from what others are like or what others might think about them. Am I a prude? Am I a bitch? Am I not sexy enough? Is she better? Is she hotter? Is she sexier? Will he leave me if I don’t fulfil his fantasy? It makes me sick.

sex and the city x files fans

These two are my favourite thing from the series so far.

 

s01e09

Oh my god, this one’s about weddings. Let’s take a moment to remember the time when I flew from Munich to attend my cousin’s wedding and I was sat in a corner surrounded by children or adults I had little to talk about with. If I ever have a wedding those two are getting a children’s menu.

 

I hope these two end up having sloppy drunken sex.

I hope these two end up having sloppy drunken sex.

Ugh. This whole I wanna get married but he doesn’t, I don’t know if I want to get married but I don’t like that he doesn’t want to, he really wants to get married but I don’t, etc. is totally exhausting, especially when it’s coming from people who are at the beginning of a relationship. Let it be and if you really are in love and have been for years and years then bloody talk about it and reach an agreement. People do things they don’t really want to or give up things they really wanted for love. You can’t think about marriage when you should be focusing on building a strong relationship!

The ultimate friendship test? Sorry but my feet are not touching yours NO WAY.

The ultimate friendship test? Sorry but my feet are not touching yours NO WAY.

 

S01E10

I am glad baby showers aren’t a thing in Spain, but what’s with all the woman hate? It shocks me that they can be so sexually open sometimes and then so judgemental the next second. Are all women here Mean Girls? And they seem to be jealous of this woman too, do they all secretly want to marry, have babies and move to Connecticut?

I suppose these are the early 90s?

I suppose these are the early 90s?

carrie bradshaw missed period

Very believable.

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sex and the city gif i can eat anything

Erm…no, because we can all eat anything we want.

OH MY GOD I FEEL SICK. How can a woman delight in how fat a pregnant woman must be? You know it’s not actual fat and there is a baby in there, right?  And again that stereotype of mothers losing their own identity with Miranda saying she “lost two sisters to motherhood.” I’m gonna end up sounding like a married housewife with a dozen kids, but as a woman I feel disgusted, and while I’ve seen a fair amount of gossip and shit talking, nothing tops this.

So I am equally disgusted by Charlotte’s hysteric admiration of everything that looks like the suburban bliss every woman should aspire to. IS THERE GOING TO BE NO CHARACTER I LIKE IN THIS SHOW? Right when I think “oh yeah, I can relate to that” they proceed to do or say something completely idiotic. They all embody supposedly feminine traits that I despise.

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Of course the wild singles are all wearing black and the married women are wearing pink and yellow. So. Much. Yellow.

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I no longer feel sorry for this woman. This is everything I hate about “womanhood.” Are you jealous because I’m thin? Are you jealous because I’m fat? Are you jealous because I’m single? Are you jealous because I’m married? Stop with the jealousy, already!

sex and the city gif you gotta get serious

And you gotta look like Shirley Temple on LSD too.

Of course the single women identify with the witch in Hansel and Gretel, because all childless women are witches.

I think this series might be the end of my relationship. My boyfriend is giving me pretty bad looks right now “five minutes of this series is enough to make me so angry, really.” At least we share outlooks, breakup averted.

OH MY GOD. YOU USED MY SECRET BABY NAME!! This makes me feel like once when I was in preschool and a classmate said I was copying her when I coloured a girl’s dress pink because pink was HER favourite colour. I was like, “sorry dude, I didn’t know you owned the colour.” Charlotte, you don’t even have a boyfriend so why the fuck do you have a secret baby name that you have already decided on? And why the fuck do you get so upset about it? And why don’t any of her friends tell her that’s unreasonable? Excuse the swearing, but this makes me so violent. I understand this when for example you’re named after your mother and grandmother and you want your future babies to follow the tradition, but even then, why can’t another woman’s baby have the same name as yours? I need a break.

THE HOUSE OF HUMILIATION? Why? Because you lead a different lifestyle? Are we all humiliated by those women who have managed to get closer to the definition of adulthood that we know? This is bullshit.

Charlotte has a wishbox? HOW OLD IS THIS WOMAN? And she has presents for her unborn baby? I hope she gets pregnant and has a boy who grows up resenting his mother for wanting a baby girl.

The saddest thing I've ever seen on TV.

The saddest thing I’ve ever seen on TV.

“If you are [pregnant] you are” I like how nobody even makes an allusion to abortion.

Of course the pregnant woman will make a fool of herself, because Carrie and the gang are the coolest and we all need to know that. Yawn.

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Why are Carrie’s nipples hard all the time?

 

I am watching Sex and the City for the first time and blogging my impressions as I watch. You can read the first part (s01E01-S01E04) here.   

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Sunday links

This week shall be remembered as the week when MIA FARROW tweeted at me.

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  • A Nightmare in Elm Street 2 is gay.
  • I loved this article about the psychology of the supermarket. I can’t wait until the next part is published.
  • Is reunited Germany actually united? Apparently not. I loved the graphics in this article and the different aspects that it touches. I also love that the words I use are usually the ones used in Bavaria, it proves that my year abroad wasn’t in vain.
  • 10 female Dadaists you should know.
  • I’m always curious about the highlighted passages on kindle. It seems to me that if a passage has already been highlighted by one person then a second one is more likely to notice it. Sometimes I find that the highlighted passages are totally banal and not that worthy of their highlighting, this happened very often when I read 50 Shades of Grey and people were highlighting supposedly “sexy” passages that made me fear for the readers’ sex life. Anyway, here’s a selection of the most popular passages, it’s quite interesting.
  • I can’t believe a sexy PhD costume is a thing.

I totally loved Andre Levy’s portraits on coins, especially this one.

 

These photos of San Francisco’s Victorian houses being moved are fascinating.

  • I’m in love with these photos by Carla Fernández Andrade that I found on I need a guide.
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Genius school, 1948

Some time ago I posted Nina Leen’s photos of 1940s teenagers that I had come across during research. Well, the other day facebook kindly showed me a link to these photos of a 1940s Genius school for gifted children that I had never seen before, and I love them! I have always thought that old time children look really serious. I’m not talking about Victorian kids who had to stay still for a long time so that the photo wouldn’t be blurry, I’m talking about kids from my parents’ generation, who knew faster shutter speeds but still look strangely serious in most of their photos. Maybe it is because, compared with the way kids dress these days, children from past decades look like little adults, or because photo opportunities were few and far between and they had learnt not to waste a photo by pulling stupid faces, or because they were taught to be serious in front of their teachers, I don’t know. Anyway, in the case of these gifted children I was totally amazed by how adult-like they seem to be, they look focused and determined, even their play looks like serious play! Here are some of my favourite photos, you can see the rest and learn more about the school here.

nina leen genius school 1940s

This one’s my favourite, a 5-year-old who taught himself to read checking out this book from the library!

nina leen genius school 1940s

It looks like they bumped into each other on their way to a business meeting.

nina leen genius school 1940s

I wonder what would happen if you taught young children how to order wine in French in this day and age…

nina leen genius school 1940s

nina leen genius school 1940s

This kid is teaching others to play chess!

nina leen genius school 1940s

nina leen genius school 1940s

Building blocks are a serious business.

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The one in which I watch Sex and the City

Hello, my name is Andrea and I’ve never watched Sex and the City. Well, I lie, I have occasionally sort of half watched some episodes while doing something else, but I don’t think I’ve ever watched a complete one. I just never saw the appeal, maybe because I don’t buy that the main character can live like that writing a column, maybe because I think they all look terribly stupid or maybe because, well, I was not a thirtysomething woman and the only shoes I care about are vans. Some years ago my girly friends often talked about which one of the characters they resembled the most and I was left there sitting in my own world thinking that the fictional character I resembled the most was Rob Gordon from High Fidelity. Thankfully nobody else in my circle cared about this show except for my dad, who bizarrely seems to like it, so I was spared these conversations and never felt forced to watch it… until now. The thing is, with them being unmarried and childless, somebody could ask why this show doesn’t fall into my thesis topic, and although I know that it doesn’t–or at least I hope so–I can’t argue my way out of that without watching it.

S01 E01

This hasn’t even started and I feel like I’m watching a series about Gala Darling.

I don’t think white tutus should be worn unless you’re, you know, on stage dancing ballet. Right now I’m imagining grown women googling “Carrie Bradshaw tutu diy” and something is dying inside me.

sex and the city screen cap season 1

Rain reflecting the emotional turnmoil of a two week relationship.

Wait a minute, is this supposed to be set in the 80s?

sex and the city looks like the 80s

Just when I was starting to wonder if the main characters have any male friends one came up…but he’s gay.

Shit, I’m not the only one who says “it’s research” after every stupidly immature thing they do. I hope nobody thinks I’m copying Carrie.

Oh right, the gay friend and the nerd friend. I see.

OH MAN I ALWAYS THOUGHT MR BIG WAS MR BIG BECAUSE OF HIS MASSIVE PENIS! What a disappointment.

does mr big have a big penis

The most important thing I’ve googled all day

I don’t get it, what’s with the sex noises when they’re only kissing? Who makes that kind of noise when they kiss?

Now that I know it was created by Darren Star I’m scared I will like it. Beverly Hills 90210 and Melrose Place are two of my guilty pleasures.

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