I've developed a habit of making myself cups of tea, carrying them upstairs and then, after consumption, just leaving them there, with the teabag and everything, and instead of reusing the cups, I'll use a new one each time. I'm counting 3 on the shelf next to my bed (It's getting to be quite hard to fit another one in there) and 2 on the desk. About once a week, I'll muster up the courage to take them back downstairs, throw out the teabags and put the cups into the dishwasher, though often a slight residue of the bag remains. Last time, 2 of the bags had gone moldy. Things are getting out of hand.
When i feel around the top of my head, i always notice an embayment smack in the middle. It's probably nothing serious but I wonder if it's because i bonked my head once too often. Maybe I wear my headphones so much that my skull has started to reshape in accordance. Maybe my brain has lost copious amounts of mass after years spent laying around watching youtube videos, and my skullcap caved into the now empty space. I know that's nonsense but it keeps me up man
I love amusement parks, but there is always a kind of cheap and shitty quality to them. Rigged carnival games, vomiting kids, jaded employees, empty cans of beer, waiting in lines for hours with a bunch of other sweaty people eating all your home brought snacks, getting sugar rushs and heat stings. Today I've experienced the essence of this aspect: sitting on a dirty toilet in sweat soaked jeans struggling with constipation for 30 minutes while Peppa Pig music blares from the roof speakers.
Took the dog for a midnight walk yesterday. I went withought a light as it's just bright enough to see where you're going, but still dark enough for your ears and nose to take over, wich i love. The route I was taking depended on me walking along an out of order railroad track. As I drew near it, I began hearing voices coming from further down the track. I couldn't make out what they were saying, it's possible that they were speaaking in another language. It's a bit of an awkward scenario to just waltz through there at midnight with my badly behaved dog no doubt dragging me all over the place, but I had to press on to make my circle. I was curious, anyway. as I got closer, I began to make out the shilouettes of what seemed to be a matress, and two people sitting on opposite side of the track, one on the maybe-matress, both without lights like me. their voices only ebbed when I was right inbetween them. I broke the awkward silence by throwing out a quick "Moin", wich they firmly returned, and went on, after wich they immediately continued with their hearty laughs. Those guys were cool as hell, and I wish I could've sat down next to them.
I have had no idea where my phone is since yesterday. Today morning, while making/eating breakfast, I kept nervously pacing around instead of actually eating. It seems I've gotten so used to watching videos or listening to music during my morning routine that not having that background noise makes me deeply uncomfortable. I actually ended up dragging my laptop with its loading cable downstairs and awkwardly place it on the small dining room table behind my toast and tea to resume the fucking FRED retrospective that I was watching when I fell unconscious 7 hours earlier. I have found a new thing to hate about myself.
tired unorganised thoughts on summer: In contradiction to the ruling trends of internet weirdos, summer is my favorite season. It's a season where just existing is nice. You go outside, without having to put anything extra on, and can pretty much just lay down wherever, it's probably comfortably warm. you don't even have to go outside to enjoy summer; even if you spend all day cooped up inside, taking a quick look out the window will reveal refreshing beauty. Because in the summer, everything just looks super fucking pretty. And if the sun's not beaming don at top velocity, it's raining at nicely warm temperatures, and there's no better smell than summer rain. My evaluation of this season might change once i get into uni and actually have to work in the heat. As of right now, the only real annoying downside is trying to sleep. it's just too hot, you're definitely gonna sweat your ass off, and everytime you're close to falling asleep, some bitch insect starts buzzing directly next to your ear. It's just not a season for sleeping. Sun goes down at around 11:30, you begin to see the colors of sunrise at around 3 am, and the time inbetween is brighter than most winter days. Summer is a season for being awake and alive. When I was a kid, summer was also a season of depression. Without school to distract and the daily routine to structure me, my irrational fears (meteors hitting earth/the people i loved, being abducted by aliens, the invasion of a foreign species of squirrels or chipmunks or something that had been predicted by an animal magazine for children to happen around the time i turned 18 wich i thought would destroy the local ecosystem and leave us with nothing for some reason (might have misunderstood something there)) were free to run rampant, wich resulted in a painful awareness of how fleeting the moment was and how easily it could be destroyed by a meteorite/aliens/chipmunks. most of these memories are from when i was at around elementary school age, but there's one as recent as 2016. I remember walking along this litte pretty pathway besides the Rhein in Cologne with my family, when i noticed a thing they use to tell the water levels. The pathway was bustling with people, laughter and life, and I was forced to think about how in 50 or 100 years, it could very well be flooded, along with most of the city and many cities like it (climate change, one of my less irrational fears). Maybe humanity would have already knocked itself out or left the planet by that point, leaving this beautiful lively spot to rot unknown and undiscovered forever, all memories of it forgotten. And these types of things happen without clobal crises, catastrophes and sudden strokes of fate. All the time. Things are destined to rot and crumble, no matter how hard we try to preserve them, partially because we ourselves are destined to rot. This feeling of powerlessness against change lays at the center of all of my fears, as I now realize. Not that I dislike change in general. The cards are just rarely in my hands.
I just don't know what i'm gonna do with my life man. I'm too incompetent for even the most basic jobs. I managed to get fired from a job restacking drinks at a local supermarket after 2 months a few years back. I was unmotivated and tired, as I had usually just gotten out of school when my shift would begin. The way too short playlist of infuriating music they had on in the background drove me insane, and within that feverish state, this socially awkward wreck of a person was contractually obligated to smile and greet every customer they happened to come across. Needless to say I usually kept my eyes glued to the ground and scuffled through the store halls at a snails pace. Wich was really the main reason I got fired: my speed. I am a slow person. Not mentally, but in all other aspects of life. I oscillate between having absolutely no energy and being supercharged, though the bursts of hyperactivity are growing rarer and rarer. The "H" within my ADHD pass has slowly been withering away over the years, so now I'm just an absent minded loser. If no one were there to yell at me, I could lay around all day, stare at the wall and do absolutely nothing until i died of starvation. I don't know how I'm going to keep up with the world. But in a way, I don't even really want to. I would be ok with just living in the trash forever as an ignorant fool. I don't have very high expectations for my life. I'll just go to uni and hope I can get my shit together in time.
I must be so fucking repressed. I feel like if I allowed myself to dedicate to a thought or an opinion or a feeling, I'd constantly be either pissed or devestated. But I don't do it because i always think that I might worsen someones day, that my bullshit could maybe inconvenience them, and who am I to act like what I feel based on absolutely nothing has any merit? Truth is: Nobody knows what they're talking about. But instead of allowing myself to be wrong and make mistakes to learn from or dying on a hill or be the victim of other peoples ignorance, I just keep my ugly little mouth shut and take my pills despite them making me absolutely miserable and unenjoyable to be around. I let myself get dragged down to the niveau of everyone I talk to, never stand my ground, because I'm that scared of being wrong, or just not liked for who I am and what I think. Because being an actual person means facing the possibility of being a knobhead, of taking the wrong path, of having to change; but rebirth neccesitates death, and I'm so scared of death that I'd rather be a nothing, take no path and stay in the elevators and waiting rooms of life forever. Like i'd turn into a stone and attain immortality if i remained perfectly still. I won't. This kind of life style is absolutely worthless and even if it did work, what would it accomplish? What worth has life to a stone? Or a piece of fire wood? I need to become a real person. And maybe this little slice of gibberish on a deserted corner of the internet that no one looks at is just the right playground for me to try myself out as a human.
Between 10 pm and midight today, I was totally lost in the forests stretching out seemingly endlessly near my house on my shitty bicycle, riding on mostly overgrown dirt tracks that were reduced to mud and rich with puddles wich I often couldn't recognize before it was too late and I splashed right into them because the light only extended about 1,5 meters straight ahead. I was freezing and sweating at the same time, branches hit my face and wet grass chafed my feet, but I never stopped or turned around or tried to reorientate myself, I just kept pedaling and pedaling with shit like this coming through my headphones at full volume. I've never felt so alive!!! The shoes are ruined tho
I think that one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the culture of a foreign time or place beyond the cultivated experiences of museum visits and tourism is comedy. Understanding the comedy produced by members of a certain social group within a culture means understanding their perspective on the world and their place in it; the conditions dictating their lives and their everyday issues, from wich you can often infer the larger systemic issues plaguing them. When I was a wee lad, I found a book entitled "the best jokes of 1989!" (in german) on the bookshelf outside of my bedroom. As one might expect, since it was from '89, it had an entire section devoted to jokes from the former DDR (not dance dance revolution, the other one), "now for the first time!". Even though I was too young to know anything about the DDR, the jokes conveyed a strong sense of paranoia. A lot of them were about being too afraid to make jokes at all, lest one of your friends turned out to be an inofficial Stasi Member. They also liked to make fun of the sometimes very appearent methods that were used to spy on people. I think one of the jokes went something like "Need a new shelf? Go out on the street, yell "down with the SED!" and you will find one in your bedroom the next morning!" lol. ANother popular target were the "Trabis", the standardised car unit, with many jokes complaining about the quality of the materials, how quickly they break and how long it takes to apply for one, but they often still had a kind of affectionate subtone to them, implying the sort of love-hate relationship Donald Duck has with his 313.
I hate throwing out my garbage. Our Trash cans are in clear view of a forest path favored by people walking their dogs, and it's clearly visible by their stares what they're thinking while they're watching me like it's any of their goddamn business in the first place. Nevermind the fact that I have Allergies and don't produce a lot of other garbage up in my room since I don't often carry food up there and that I usually throw out multiple months worth of trash at a time; when you see a scrawny, badly postured dude in his late teens with bags under his eyes and clearly way too much free time throwing out solid blocks of tissues, your first thought is "that guy's jacking it 24/7". It's disgusting, I feel naked in front of the face of the world and judged by mortals. Fuck
An amazon ad I've been presented a thousand times but never watched past the 3 second mark before you're able to skip just irked me today. The last shot in those 3 seconds is of a package being handed to a girl. It's shot from the perspective of the delivery man, meaning that you see only his arms, with the focus clearly being the girl delightfully receiving a package from his hands. Even in a scene that neccesitates the existence of a person behind the package, of a worker, their presence is essentially eliminated from the shot, and your mind is guided towards the convenience of delivery and they joy of buying shit while being steered away from the thought that these oh so wonderful packages don't just magically appear before your house, that there's terrible exploitative work behind them, and how could there not be with the oh so convenient prime one day delivery. "Amazon isn't a global empire, it's the magic box machine that that spits out things that will make my estranged daughter smile for 5 seconds before going back up to her room and not talking to me again", is what this commercial tries to make you say. I know I'm harping on this, probably overthinking it, but today's been a bad day and this is how I let my anger out. Rather a soulless megacorp than people important to me. Fuck Amazon, and Fuck Advertisments.
At the flea market today, flipping through the dvds people were trying to get rid of made me realize that all rom coms have the exact same cover: Main Characters posed in a manner relevant to the plot making faces at the camera in a white void of emptiness, title above them, bold black latters, maybe a pink or red word, depending on the gimmick of the film. Why is that? Are there, like, guidelines that these movies have to follow? Rom coms are weird like that anyway. I don't know who watches them, but the fact that they're all the same has to be part of their appeal. It's probably a source of constancy and a reassurance that love is out there for people who feel lonely and without control, for whom more serious romantic dramas would be too emotionally intense. That's my best guess. But total conformity down to the covers? How do you decide wich one to get at that point? Probably based on the actors. Maybe that's why people watch them, cause they find the actors hot. Actually yeah I think I've cracked the code. Easy money for the actors ig
riding the bike with my dog today, I could feel the wind blowing through my sideburns. This is a very big thing for me, as I have been trying to grow them out for a year or two now. I have virtually no facial hair growth, so progress has been slow, but they have now gotten to the point where people have begun noticing and commenting on them. Exclusively negative things, mind you. Appearently, they look shit on me. I don't care. They don't understand that I'm not doing this to look good, I'm doing this for ME. Everyone has those long term goals for their body, you know, like losing weight or getting swole. Those take too much work for my lazy bum though, so I have instead given myself a goal wich I can achieve simply by continuing to exist: Growing out my sideburns. It takes no real thought or effort or time and yet, when I look into the mirror every morning, it gives me that little well needed motivation boost that you'd get by actually working on your body. Just doesn't have the same health benefits but hey, the way this world's heading, I don't want to live past 40 anyways! ;)
I'm weird with nostalgia. I don't have as many clear memories of my childhood as it seems most people do, and those that I have are always viewed from a large distance, as if I was remembering the life of someone else. There's a disconnect between me and the child I was that can't even be bridged by the sort of objects loaded with emotions that would usually make people feel all warm and fuzzy and nostalgic inside. For example, my mother recently found an old college block from my elementary school days, and within it the beginning of a fantasy novel that I was trying to write back then. Looking through the text, I could very much remember writing it and all of the ideas I had had for the story; I could recall that the protagonists, a group of 5 brother and sisters, were based on my friends at the time (with each of their names sharing its first letter with the name of their irl counterpart), and I recalled handing the "manuscript" of the first and only chapter to my brother for his evaluation. Yet, I didn't feel anything, no warm memories came bubbling up. I flipped through the pages like a teacher would. The largest impression it left on me was because of its unusually decipherable handwriting. There wasn't even a lot crossed out, I seemingly just immediatly went with each word I had written down, for better or worse. I felt embarrassed at how bad my handwriting looks now and how much of a text I would usually rewrite nowadays, despite having so many more years of practice in writing and expressing my thoughts. Then I felt even more embarrassed at the fact that I was developing an inferiority complex towards the 8 y.o. me. :/ Ehhhhh I heared once that doctors have such terrible handwriting precisely because they had to write so much during their time at college and that they automatically start smearing their letters to write faster, sooooooooo I'll just assume that that's normal and push the thought that I might have peaked in elementary school deep down into my wide-awake-at-4-am-zone. Anyway, the only thing that really makes me nostalgic is music. When I hear a song that played on the radio a lot in the 2000s or that my parents had on a cd they would listen to on car rides, I am flooded with mysterious feelings; slightly scary, but also full of wonder and magic. This goes to the point where I had a whiplash of 'stalgia whilst browsing through the first few videos of my all encompassing youtube music playlist a few days ago in search of tracks to add to the Fotosynthese Playlist on this page. I must have created that playlist in 2018 or 2019, but still it reminded me of a "simpler time", of a summer spent in hammocks listening to podcasts about the supernatural and shitposting on reddit (blegh). The irony there being that I was probably actually worse off, less organized and more confused then than I am now. Yet still, if there's anything that all of my images of my passing life have in common, it's that things seemigly were clearer "back then", no matter how close "then" is to "now"; more coherent and more intense. As if those times were chock full of powerful, obvious, life-affirming emotions, and I've just been dying a little more each year. I know for a fact that that's BS, I was a fucking wreck when I was 14-16, but my brain still forms this narrative of a continual decline, wich is honestly just a dickish move on its part. It seems that no matter how hard I will work on myself and how far I will get in life, I am doomed to forever be ashamed of my past self, and at the same time, be afraid that it would be ashamed of me.
I sometimes have to yawn so hard that it's a problem. Recently, I was close to falling asleep and subconciously let out what should have been the final yawn of the day, but my mouth must have opened too wide because my jaw started hurting like hell, jolting me out of my half-asleep-state and keeping me out of it for at least another half hour, that's how bad it hurt. I feel like your own body shouldn't be able to hurt you this much by just obeying reflexes. That seems like a design flaw.
My regular dog walking route has me passing a beautiful house with a massive front lawn inhabited by two dogs that are even more territorial than my own. My dog used to drag me towards them and try to fight back; now he's begun to try to ignore them, though you can see that their barking still has an impact on him by how the hairs on his back stand up. This was the scenario I found myself in, obviously tense dog trying his best to look and walk straight ahead, when one of the barks suddenly made him stop and turn his head towards the front yard in shock. I am left with the conclusion that that specific bark must have contained a pretty harsh insult that could not be played off all cool by him, perhaps directed towards his mother. If that is the case, I must say that I'm glad he doesn't speak german because I very frequently call him a son of a bitch (affectionately).
I found a dead mole on a patch of grass beside the road today. It made me sad, but something about the experience felt off. I realized that this was because I had never seen a dead mole before, wich makes sense since they usually keep underground. That made me imagine a mole dying alone at the end of a tunnel it spent all its life digging, where only the maggots and worms would ever find it, wich only made me more sad. I've also been spending these days in a hole of my creation. I hope I don't die there.
Finally finished moving. I now live in a small room in the basement of an elderly lady with another guy who I haven't met yet cause he's on vacation for another two weeks. It's a nice place, except for the fact that the shower is in the kitchen for some reason, wich is going to make mornings difficult once he's back... The house is pretty high up on a hill, wich turns bike trips into a high/hangover situation. I might have to take the bus. I have managed to accustom myself to living in here pretty well, no homesickness has set in yet, but I do miss my dog. In the first night, I had a dream that was originally about some macabre animated Mickey Mouse comic strips, in one of wich Mickey got told that he had cancer and would be dead in a few hours, and the doctor said something about contacting Minnie or something, and Mickey stoically replied with a snark remark, a litte bitch still in the face of death. The image then changed to my dog walking before me on the path to my old home without a leash, immersed in a smell trail, when he slightly lowered his bum and shat out two yellow balls, wich still stuck to him when he continued walking, and in my dream I knew that he had just lost something important, something needed to live, and that he'd die in a few hours, just like Mickey, and no one could do anything about it. I woke up with a sweat, wanting to cry, believing the dream to be reality or at least an omen in my half awake state. It took me about an hour to convince myself that everything was fine. And it was, Mom sent me an image of him laying on my old spot at the dinner table the next day, but I just can't get that image of yellow testicles dangling from his ass out of my mind. Fucking hell this post got weird huh
Third day here and already I'm fucking up. Got up fashionably late with a 2am-computer-binge induced headache, went into the kitchen/shower to make myself some breakfast, came back into my room with a cup of coffee and immediately almost dropped it when my eyes met those of a SAW mask looking in through the window. Moments later I realized that the thing was leaned against the windscreen of a garbage truck. Momentary relieve was followed by another serving of dread as i rushed to the kitchen to check the calender, and sure enough, it was garbage day, for three kinds of garbage no less, and i had totally forgotten. I guess we'll have to manage from another 2 weeks. Aside from that, certain legal matters aren't going the way i planned, water is seeping out from underneath the toilet and I don't know what to do about it, I'm afraid I might have missed some important dates regarding my student carreer because I don't understand the university's online forums and am too afraid to ask, and my venus flytrap from IKEA is dying. The pineapple's still doing well at least.
keep seeing graffiti everywhere. And i don't just mean those sprawling artworks, I also see these little squiggly tags quickly sprayed on whatever surface was there at the moment. I'm wondering about those. They're mostly just seemingly random strings of letters and numbers. Some of them are obvious abbreviations, like ACAB and FCK NZS, but with a lot of these i have no idea what they're supposed to mean, and i don't think i'm supposed to. But these have to have some point to them, you don't get a bunch of spray cans and sneak out at night just to smear some random shit on walls, you want to communicate something. But to whom, and what? It would seem that underneath the surface of life in the city, hidden by the night, whole worlds flourish that I can never be privy to. May seem obvious but I'm new here dude cut me some slack
Uni finally begins tomorrow, but i've been here for like, 3 to 4 weeks now, just kinda chilling; and since I don't really listen to the news and have no one to talk to here, I've grown alienated and uninformed to a comical degree. A fucking BOMB was defused in this city and I only heard about it from my parents when they visited me that weekend. lmao
Neocities runs on Lain-loving. After all, the first thing you do when you get here is follow or at least look at fauux's page, and every other site has at the very least a gif of her sitting around somewhere. She's become a mascot of the old web, wich is in some way ironic, as her story is kind of a prescient criticism of the internet and the effect it has on our mental health. I think one of the reasons people can look at Lain nostalgically despite this is because the idea of the "wired" seems almost quaint by todays standards. A world contained within screens and wires that pull you in like prey, a second layer to reality, a rabbit hole for people to fall down, to lose themselves in, where physicality loses meaning and new gods manifest... But in this world of the wired, people like arisu can still exist; real physical people, uninitiated outsiders, and we can fight against these internet gods, these spiders of the web. They have names. But the internet is now wireless. What was previously just a sinkhole opened up to swallow everyone, even the Arisus of our world; there are no more layers. God is no longer in the cables, he's become an amorphous unknowable cloud surrounding us and passing through us as smoke-like data packets, everywhere and all the time. In that way, it makes sense to associate your grassroots attempt to take back control of the net from the god cloud with the girl who managed to defeat god before. Of course, in reality, it's mostly cause the aesthetics look cool and "anime girl sad and introspective on computer just like me!" but whatever
Went to the shop yesterday, 15 minutes before closing time like the fucking gremlin I am. Got some Ramen packets, something sweet and a big bottle of mint drink, cause I was getting sick of tea and tap water. At the checkout, the woman infront of me noticed my noodles and asked if they were somehow different to the other brand being sold in that store for 20 cents less. I told her that I just preferred their taste. Wich is kind of a lie, as I had never even tried the cheaper brand before. I just bought that specific kind cause it's the one we had back home. That's what I realized as she was having her stuff scanned. I have to be able to recognize these kinds of stupid internalized biases on my own. I don't have any money to waste on names and logos, especially since my Bafög turned out to be much lower than anticipated. Combined with my child benefits, it's enough to cover rent, but there's not much left for living expenses and the like. I might have to get a job (Woe is me). I would have the time for it, uni hasn't been much of a time investment so far, and most of the Seminars and ALL of the lectures are being held over Zoom and recorded (despite this Semester having been touted as "Hybrid"), so I could arrange my studying around that rather easily. I'm honestly kind of disappointed by the university experience thus far. It's been an organisational nightmare and the tiny bit of actual material we've been exposed to is far from riveting. I might study something else if it keeps up like this. Thank god education is affordable in this country.
Two days ago, while I was at the shop (early in the morning for once), refreshing on my essentials (milk, toast, cereal), I came across a stand stacked with drinks from a brand I had never heard of before. I thought it was one of those hipster star ups specializing in expensive lemonades with extensive branding and explosive flavor combinations (You know the type). I like trying different drinks from time to time as a bit of a treat, so I put a can that looked appealing (I think it was Rhubarb flavour mixed with something else?) into my bag. The first clue that something was off about this drink should have been the slightly disgusted look on the cashiers face as she scanned my items, but that really just vindicated my fears of how I come across to other people, so I didn't think too much of it. When I opened the can on my way back home however, one sip was enough to realize that this was no lemonade, no juice, no ice tea or smoothie. A look at the side of the can revealed the number wich I had been so afraid of seeing: 4.5% vol.. THUS, A SOLEMN VOW TAKEN MANY YEARS AGO (for very stupid reasons) TO NEVER LET AS MUCH AS A DROP OF ALCOHOL PASS BETWEEN MY LIPS IS BROKEN RATHER UNCEREMONIOUSLY ON A WEDNESDAY MORNING. Might as well get shitfaced now.
As part of covid regulations, my uni has QR-codes taped to the walls outside of every room, wich you have to scan and verify your identity before you're allowed to enter. I think that Vampires of the Internet Age would use a similar technology to avoid constantly having to ask for permission to enter buildings. They'd just use their phone inviting them in as a surrogate for a human invite. In fact, they could copy this specific service without having to change anything, as it's literally called "may I come in"! ...My uni might be run by vampires.
While stuck at a train station for 2 hours (bad planning, my fault), I picked up a pocket sized collection of jewish folklore. Or, as the cover declares, "The most beautiful jewish fairy tales", wich honestly seems misplaced as a title and kind of belittling since many of these stories are about culturally traumatizing moments and do hold at least some religious significance, unlike fucking Hänsel and Gretel. I immediately regretted spending 14 quid on it, but I've honestly found it to be quite a fascinating read so far. It's interesting to see all the little additions and deviations from the canon of the biblical old testament I was raised with, like Adam having a (demonic) first wife, or the mountains all fighting over wich god will tell the ten commandments on. Furthermore, being as small as it is, I can carry it around everywhere in my jacket pocket and read a little bit while waiting for/sitting on busses and trains, wich the material is perfect for, since it's a bunch of very short stories told in that unadorned, to-the-point style ancient texts typically employ, wich means that it doesn't require too much attention and that even a five minute reading session leaves me with a new nugget of information, one of wich I'd like to share with you all right now: According to jewish folklore, babies spend their time in the womb observing the vast plains of the earth and learning the Thora, basically becoming enlightened little mfers and having, as the text itself says, the time of their lives; but an angel hovers over the expecting mother, and as soon as the baby pops its head out, the angel punches it so hard in its soft little face that it forgets everything it ever learned. Yeesh. Talk about a rough awakening. Anyway, the last section of the book is appearently reserved for fantastical creatures of jewish lore, and you KNOW i love that shit, so you might be hearing more from me soon on that front...
As per tradition, we visited my mother's cousin on christmas. I don't know exactly what her illness is, but she's wheelchair-bound and has a speech impediment. I've always enjoyed visiting her because she's really nice. Also because she has an almost complete collection of "Lustige Taschenbücher" (funny pocket books, LTB for short), wich is the name of the 300 page compilation format in wich Mickey Mouse/Donald Duck comics have been published over here for 50 years. She generally loves collecting things, her other big passion is teddy bears, wich her house is stuffed full with. It's a very cozy place. As children, my brother and I would drink tea from her fine porcellaine cups with big pieces of rock sugar in them, inspect her teddy bear collection, and blast through as many of her LTBs as we could. This time, I had brought my own literature: two books, firstly the collection of jewish folklore wich I mentioned in my last post, secondly another book wich I'll talk about more in a bit, both of wich I finished at her house. Before I tell you about the other book, I'd like to do a quick follow up to my last post (a random thoughts first!): What I understood to be mythical beings turned out to be regular animals with jewish beliefs, I.E. a donkey that won't work on sabbath. Bit of a letdown, but still interesting! Also, regarding the title: what I boldly translated as "fairy tales" is "Märchen" in the original. What you'd think of as fairy tales (that Grimm shit) is exclusively called "Märchen" in german, but the term "Märchen" CAN be used synonymously with "Legend" or "Myth", though anything labeled with the term is usually still implied to be fictional. It seems that the hebrew language lacks that hard distinction between fictional legends and legends that are to be believed, at least that's the way the book made it sound: There's the word "Agadah", wich describes legends that are to be believed, and - closer to what we'd call fairy tales - "Maassija", wich describes, and I quote, "a little fact, the truth of wich one could believe in and on wich one shall edify themselves". So the reason that "Märchen" or "fairy tale" was chosen is that there's no word in the german dictionary to accurately describe these stories, and "Märchen" came closest to the editor's intentions with the collection. Now about that other book: "If on a winter's night a traveler" by Italo Calvino, one of my new favorites. I'm not usually one for hokey post modern meta shit, but the way this novel does it is something truly special. To explain what I mean: the book opens with you, the reader, buying and beginning to read the new book by Italo Calvino, "If on a winter's night a traveler". You soon find that the book keeps repeating its first few pages, and you hurry back to the book store. In your attempts to find the rest of this damn book, you fall head first into a confusing plot involving criminal book cults, an international book forger/translator, a dictstorship in wich the police and the freedom fighters have infiltrated each other's organizatons to the point that no one really knows their affiliation anymore, and a bizarre love triangle. All of this is told in a style that is as funny as it is poetic, though it might seem a bit pretentious at first (cause it kind of is lol). I also believe that this is a great book to read if you've been in a reading slump: For one, the book is structured in a way where segments centered around the antics of you, the reader, are intersected by the books the reader opens in anticipation of finding the one he searches for, only to find an entirely new, just as engrossing story that he is then quickly forced to abandon as well. These books within the book are all written in different styles and genres, wich the author demands respect for on a technical level alone. These story beginnings expose you to all flavors of the literary world, and ensure that you're quickly pulled back in if you start losing interest in the main story and don't just abandon the book alltogether (not that it's particularly long). Thematically, it's a big meditation on reading/writing in all their forms, motivations, leisures, and frustrations, wich has the potential to rekindle some flames. Idk if i'm making any sense at this point lol. point is that I warmly recommend this book, man.
My father works in a greenhouse, raising plans for discounters and the like. Around christmas season, he has to prepare massive quantities of Poinsettias (they're called "christmas stars" in german, hence the association). To maximise kitsch levels, he has to cover these with glitter, wich gets stuck everywhere, including his face. When we see him sparkle in the shine of our dining room lights, we know that Christmas Eve is fast approaching. At this point, it has become part of our holiday traditions. Last November, however, my father was in a nasty bicycle accident and had to get surgery. He's thankfully pretty much fully recovered now, but he couldn't work for the rest of the year, because of wich he missed out on a majority of the Poinsettia rush and didn't sparkle when I arrived home for the holidays. But when I was looking for some old crocs to quickly throw on while I went to get wood for our fireplace one day, I stumbled upon his work boots, wich were absolutely LOADED with glitter. Finally, it felt like Christmas.