Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I'm watching A Charlie Brown Christmas in my USA bed after a particularly long bout of willful insomnia. Two days of traveling, 10 hours of a coughing chairmate practically straddling me thanks to US Airways' orgiastic inside joke disguised as comfort seating, 2 hours too many of Sex and the City Movie "aren't boys jerks?" quips...but then coming home to Charlie Brown's colorful, flat, slightly melancholy Christmas? So perfect, really.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Things I do not care about or for:
Davidson Basketball. Please stop sending me emails requesting my e-participation in online "Wildcat Waves" and such. Please stop sending me messages in all caps about the consistency of whatever Coach RuddyFace spat during these "sporting games." Please stop sending me petitions to keep Stephen Curry--that living emblem of Greek athleticism and moral purity---on the Davidson Basketball team. I don't care until you make the final or whatever, and then I'll pretend like I cared all along and buy a t-shirt that is slightly too tight and draw your name on it with marker like I did with my man, Barack. But I have grown weary of this dramatic enthusiasm and quasi-collegiate nationalism, it only makes me wonder how long people rehearse basket-induced squealing naked in front of their mirror.

My short review of the Capitain Petzel show should be in tomorrow's ...mbg, I'll let you know. Today I'm going to the various Weinachtsmarkts around town to shop for Xmas gifts. I'm not sure where I'll find "liposuction," which is my sister's request for the holiday season. Perhaps I'll get a little wooden spoon and knife and cut that shit out Inquisition-style.
*Speaking of cutting, I really need to cut down on my hyphens, they are totally wiggedy-wack.

On Friday I'm going to the National Arts Club for a party hosted by Program where CocoRosie is DJing. Yesssssssssss. However, before that I have a Christmas partay at my workplace, Inlingua. Apparently, it's not horrible, but my roommate and I watched the British Office for a while to prepare me for the requisite slow-dance sequence and awkward exchange of specialty pens.

I'm coming home on the 16th! I am so excited to see Grammy, Andie, Momathan and Ms. Beach. I am also excited to give my full attention to my favorite member of the family, that metallic mediator that binds us all together; the television. Helllllllloooooo reruns of True Blood, hello new season of the L Word. Hello, I've missed you. Occasionally watching The Golden Girls in German doesn't actually get me off, I need your special touch baby.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Blurrrrrrg, sometimes I feel like such a fuck-up.
I'm making a lot of art and drinking less, but still manage to be tardy and forgetful. I just bought a second alarm clock from a Turkish market that is probably a hooka and not an alarm clock at all. I guess I'll know when my morningtime smells of cummin and tobacco.
I would attribute my flakiness to the the whole "artist mythos" thing, feigning Terence Koh-ness and flaunting my otherness, but I think that's bullshit, so I'll attribute it to my Freudian child love; chaos. Which is totally not bullshit.
This morning I brought Nicky O.J. (he's got a case of the sniffles) and watched a video of his performance in this absurdist "trilogy" of dance at the National Kunsthalle or something. It was fascinating. I heart absurd narratives and the dance that accompanies them.
Tonight I'm going to some acting school in F-hain to see my roommate, Lucia, perform her carrot scene. It should be interesting.
I'm also going to re-czech out Troy's show at Capitain-Petzel so that mayhaps I can write a thing or two about it.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Crap. I slept through class today, I am officially an asshole.
I dunno, it's so fucking cold. I am over the snowzen.
Other than that:
Grams is doing better and is now at a rehab facility and jokingly threatens to leave by kicking up her right leg. She is sharing a room with a spunky 97 year-old who loves to dance. I am going to remix Daft Punk and the "Charleston" and bring it home with me for Christmas. And then I'll turn their room into a little bitty Berlin. And then I'll tear down the separating curtain and declare it a free zone....for dance!
*I'm making a faux wooden wardrobe right now, I'm hoping that it will be both sweet and somewhat functional since my winter clothezen have no place to live.
*I've been to Poland twice in 2 weeks. I crossed the bridge over the Oder river and went to the small, cigarette-rich town of Stubice. I even went to the same restaurant both times; "Ramzes," the Pharoah-themed Polish Applebees. They had hieroglyphs and everything, shazam! Polish cigarettes are like one euro. And the Polish women are even cheaper! (No idea what that means or where it came from. No bother.)
*My roommate, the German/Italian actress slash musician is practicing for a role where she slices carrots in a scene. Our apartment is full of carrots. I just realized that I'm sitting on a carrot.
A sliced carrot! perverts.
*I have been slack about the art eventing, but I think Candace Breitz is speaking this weekend at the Temporary Kunsthalle, so I hope to go.
*I have a beer belly. No more beer for me until my sloshing, unruly Pilsner spawn goes away.
*As a replacement for my friend Risa's "Baby Thanksgiving," (see previous entries about unsettlingly small birds and baby-themed entertainment), I am spending T-giving with my new friends Joe and Emily who just moved here from Chicago. They are going to make Mexican! I am so happy. I miss tacos from El Chilito so much that sometimes I wrap myself in my blanket and pretend I am made of fish. And that I'm eating myself?
I think I'm delirious on art fumes; I can't open the window anymore because then I'll freeze to death. And I don't want to die with a beer belly.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

S0, grams is doing better and regaining her speech (my main concern), and thank you for your nice words, they made me, and grams feel better.
*They read her my blog and comments--more than once. She requested a second time, I believe. So thank you--sometimes conscientious self-indulgence becomes something more.
Otherwise, life is much the same. I accidentally dressed like a nazi yesterday, which was inappropriate, horribly offensive and totally accidental. I have a long, dark green leather coat that wad given to me by my mother, which I put over a suspendered ensemble with dark shiny boots. Sig Hell-yeah!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


My grandmother just suffered a severe stroke. She can't speak or move her left side. For those of you who know me, or who have read this blog often enough, you know how important she has been in my life.
I can't be by her side, and I can't sleep, so I am going to write down the things that mark a strong and unusual constitution; things she possessed that were admirable to me even before I knew why I should be so impressed.

My grandmother, Virginia Arnet Hill loves beignets, ancient Asian art, drinking mimosas (and flirting age-inappropriately), Mah Jong, and telling stories about her days living in the Hollywood Hills, where Clark Gable once "gave her moon-eyes" at the Brown Derby.

At seventeen, she left the pig farm in Iowa where she grew up to move to California where she attended parties in a jalopy that sounded more like Radio Flyer or some kind of rogue death machine. She worked as a stewardess on the railroad during the war and lived in the French Quarter in New Orleans. She dated more than one FBI agent, often trading boyfriends with her roommate Dot. Her favorite parties are still Mardi-Gras parties. She threw one this year for her neighbors. She wore a green mask and looked deliriously happy in pictures.
She's traveled around the world, and since I was 12 she has kept me at rapt attention with her exotic stories. She didn't leave the U.S. until she was 50, but after that found adventure everywhere: Egypt, Thailand, Australia.
She loved the unknown and just last year, at the age of 89, she visited me in Austin and Miami for art shows. My friends commented about her long after she had left, noting the magnetic personality that is her trademark. She never needed to read the book How to Win Friends and Influence People.

She took me to art museums and plays throughout my childhood (one in particular about killing nuns called Nunsense), and gave me a Chinese Calligraphy set when I was 8. I won my first drawing contest with a portrait of her. I've drawn and sculpted her more times than I can remember, and although she alerted me to the fact that these were not "flattering" depictions, she kept them anyway. She even kept a basket I made in a weaving class despite the fact that it looked like a lopsided rainbow cantaloupe.

When my father died, she helped my mother to raise my sister and I. And as she got older, she begrudgingly allowed my mother to take care of her, although never at the expense of my mother's own life.

She has the most beautiful hands, and in recent years I had to hold them to balance her. Her nails are always impeccably maintained, and when she speaks she gesticulates in the coy way that actresses in 40's films do. She loves the word, "Damn!" and often sounds like Rhett Butler, even though she is an Iowan by birth. She bought me a copy of Gone With the Wind when I was 10. That book changed my life, I think.

She wore Tina Fey glasses long before they were popular and donned a red leather jacket for most of my youth.
She never let me feel sorry for myself, urging me instead to do something productive with my time. She often quoted her husband, my grandfather, who said that "Boredom is a matter of personal choice."
She's in several book clubs, and she was the one who introduced me to books like Middlesex and The Kite Runner. She would say things like, "They're queer, but I like them."
*She meant "queer" in the older sense of the word.

Up until this week she did the crossword every day and still swam and played tennis several times a week. She loves movies with Queen Latifah. And she loves the book The Secret Life of Bees, the movie version of which, I believe, stars Queen Latifah. This will be the first movie I take her to, when I go home for Christmas.

My grandmother was never effusive, never pandered to me, never knitted me anything. On more than one occasion she critiqued my hair, weight and clothing choice (most of these were well-warranted).

But she is and always has been honestly caring. Over the course of my life she has cared for me honestly, sensitively, respectfully and unconditionally. I don't know where one finds a better example of will, intellectual ambition and loyalty.

I love you grandma and I want you to get better so that we can go see Queen Latifah try to act again.

*Although she can't speak, the hospital staff is already impressed by her sassiness and determination.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I just bought and began listening to the audiobook "How to Win Friends and Influence People." No joke. It is changing my life. For instance did you know that people "care more for a boil on their own neck than they do for a hundred famines in Africa."? The quote is something like that anyway. The point is, if you want people to like you, you must inquire about their neck "friend" and not start with your normal Sub-Saharan borefest.
I am learning lots of interesting facts about Franklin Roosevelt, who the author uses as an example of a well-liked man. Of course he was well-liked, he didn't have usable legs! Nothing to resent or distrust below the belt.
That's why, in an effort to become more popular here in the existential heartland, I have decided to break all my limbs and talk about people's boils.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Well, I was going to start this particular entry off with a big heaping of self-pity gumbo. All chunky and full of sour fishy bits and bitter swampiness. Ingredients:

-a chipped tooth that makes me look like Ron Howard as Opie, or some other old-timey childstar whose access to dental care is limited in idyllic Appalachia. But I manufacture adorable lispy slogans like, "Shucksies!"...or something similar.

-a somewhat bitchy boss, who was not down with me missing class for election day---I only cancelled class because I was invited by a CNN correspondent in Berlin to this CNN election night viewing party. My dream? Yes, but then it fell through. I was. so. sad. Goodbye sassy weatherwoman job, goodbye colleague (totally professional) hugs from Christiane Amanpour. Goodbye.

Anyway, I WAS going to write about that stuffs, but then I remembered Obama's triumph, and the tears in my fellow expats' eyes. And then I felt petty and ungrateful. And I have to say that McCain's concession speech moved me to tears as well. The country can begin anew, and the Euros are pretty happy about it too. My god, the history that was made....still can't believe it. He is so smart, so somber, so stable and so what we need.
Living here, you feel acutely how the world views us: and damn we need someone to mend our global image. And the election of Obama has already gone a long way towards that. I feel a little less shameful walking down the streets.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ich habe ein installation gemacht auf der Berliner Liste, und die vernissage ist hotte, aber du hast dieser gehort schon. Farfignugen. Birkenstock. Wolf Blitzer.


I know that I've expressed extreme discontent with, disdain for, and general bitterness towards art fairs, but I think I like Art Fairs in Berlin. Something is different. Maybe it's that I'm not being drunkenly trampled by coked out Murakami sycophants. Maybe it's that I prefer bratwurst to 13 dollar Cuban sandwiches. Maybe I just hate America.
Anyhoo, the Berliner Liste opens tonight, and I'm exhibiting with Extraraum. The space for the art fair is fucking amazing, period. I would live there. I would raise my children there. I would forgo my chastity promise in order to have children just to rear them inside this crazy old hotel. I am having a hard time even finding words to describe it. First it was a hotel, then a tax office---everything has a forgotten Art Deco meets Roccoco appeal to it. Dark wooden reliefs, bright purple hallways, a red carpet, winding staircases, non-functional fireplaces, faux tiled bathrooms with reliefs of Grecian goddesses, gray-green floors in all the rooms. Beautiful.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Willi put me on the guest list for the International Porn Festival afterparty, it wasn't nearly as debaucherous as I thought it would be, but here are some things I saw/did:

*Willi tended the bar in a scandalous unitard, with a really creative zipper running in all sorts of irrational directions.

*There were women (mostly Americans I might add) who donned pasties, had mohawks, and handed out sex-themed goodies and gum for 50 cents.

*There was a large plastic-coated bed in the center of the bar/warehouse, which apparently was well-used in past nights. Last night people (including myself) just stood on it to see the "Porn Karaoke." Luckily, one cannot get Gonorrhea through one's feet.

*"Porn Karaoke!" Enough said. My introduction to this particular art form made the whole thing worth it. The stars were a Brasilian couple who displayed impressive range with their homemade horror porn movies. I especially enjoyed some of the close-ups, so cinematic, totally Fellini-esque.

Afterward, I went to the "Ping-Pong Bar," a favorite of Vice readers and the superhip to hear my roommate DJ. This bar was really cool. the centerpiece was obviously a very large ping-ping table, with Germans rotating around it commie-style. Germans are v. good at ping-pong and even have ping-pong tables set up in public parks. The kicker: the tables are made of concrete. Hail Mother Russia!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Things I can't get enough of, or understand in any sort of aesthetic way:
German haircuts.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Well, I've been so slack about this blog. It's because I've been busy, busy, busy, not so busy, drunk, and busy.
Anyway, I'm working on my installation for the Berliner Liste Fair, which opens October 29th, and trying to stay on top of all the bureaucracy my job demands (somewhat unsuccessfully I might add).
My best friend Nicky, the Belgian dancer of my right aorta, left to dance in the Middle East for a month on a tour sponsored by Porsche and geared towards rich dance-hungry shieks.

I couldn't give him a copy of "Persepolis" or a plane-Xanax, lest his head be cut off. Did you know that bringing drugs, even prescription anti-depressants into Saudi Arabia can result in the death penalty? Oh Saudi Arabia, all the oil in the world means nothing without medicinal hand-holding.

I got over my one-week seasonal affective disorder, in part because it is warmer outside and I am busying myself with work. Also, I am staying part-time at Nicky's apartment, and he has cable! Thank god, I missed that little magic square who speaks to me more than I missed breakfast tacos, timely service or Federalist, mavericky attitudes.
Berlin is good, my Californian friend James and I go to this bar near our apartments called "Silver Future," which is fast becoming my favorite place. It has cheap drinks, and strategically placed felt on murals of naked ladies.
In a couple of weeks it will be art craziness with the Artforum Fair, and the two satellite fairs that accompany it (Berliner Liste and Preview). Maybe more, I dunno. I will really try to write about it, I pwomise.
*Also, I got a new digicam from my momz, so watch out, it's about to get a whole lot mo' visual up in this piece.
*Also check out Domy's Monster Show, I put a little something in it. Plus, I think it opens on All Hallow's Eve. Plus, Monsters are cool.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Things I am taking very seriously:

Devil Facial Tumors

Things I am trying to take un-seriously:

My job.

Things that come up when I google "Sarah Palin hell":

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Just saw Terence Koh at the tiny Vietnamese place in my 'hood. He started taking pictures of goldfish in the aquarium. It was so Terence Koh! He had on sneakers!

*I am a whore and need to stop reading Artforum Diary.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

I'm teaching 4 English classes and one of them absolutely hates me. Not just the way I teach, they hate me.
One particularly onerous German woman just glares at me all German-like, visions of Durer's four horsemen trampling me into a winter sheath that she can then use as a tourniquette for my ego. She undermines me, sighs loudly and today wrote a review of me as "uninterresant und langweilig." That's uninteresting and boring for you Amerikaners.

Now, I have been called many things in my life, the C word, the B word, the S word (solipsistic).
But never have I been called uninteresting. Now, I know I don't compare to the thrilling German television programs such as "Hot or Not," or the emotive, theatrical way in which Germans electrify a room, but I'm not boring. Unqualified maybe. A little dreamy perhaps. Overly sensitive, yes. But for the love of Christ, I am not boring.

I analyzed Britney Spears using business terminology. Is she boring? Is shaving your head boring? Somehow, the assertion that I am boring rather than incompetent bugs me. Actually it all bugs me. I plan on living here for a while, so having this job is relatively important. But as Sarah Palin misquoted Madeline Albright as saying, "There's a special place in hell for women who don't support other women."
Go to hell Frau Gerlind.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

This week was the first time I've felt really homesick since I've been here. I think this is because of the following:

-The Bierhimmel, one of my favorite bars, played Bon Jovi all night long on Friday. I don't even like Bon Jovi, although I do have fond collegiate half-memories of shimmeying on Fraternity tables to "It's My Life."

-Actually having a job and the necessary waking-up-early-ness that accompanies it suh-xx. It's really impeding my arting, coffeeing, daydreaming and snogging. I've been getting up at 5:30, which is like insanely out of sync with this city of hopped-up beerheads. I've become all responsible-like. I took the subway to work the other day and nearly barfed up my morningtime Snickers when I stood next to these two men who were literally oozing wisps of Berlinner Pilsner. I was wearing a blazer too. A blazer of resentment. Aaaaaah, who am I becoming?!

-German people tend to be really reserved, which I appreciate, it's just that I'm quite reserved too, and I want people to hit on me. I just feel like no one cares what I'm wearing, you know? Loooook at me Germans! I exist!!!!!

-It is cold here. So cold already. It went from pleasantly brisk to a Dosteovsky novel overnight.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Sorry guys. I've been busy. I've been teaching English to Germullets, working on this: http://www.extraraum.net/berliner_lister_2008.html, writing a show proposal, and googling Sarah Palin obsessively. So, no time to blog unfortunately.
Did you know that regular ole' Sarah Palin killed 12 caribou, pleasured her man using only the barrette that holds her brainjunk together and rode a bedazzled Polar Bear all while approving underhanded legislation making little girls pay for their own rape kits? She's amazing. I'm so impressed with her multi-tasking. I tried to eat a candy bar on my way to work yesterday and it ended up in my shoe somehow.

Friday, September 26, 2008

I fell asleep like a homeless person in the Frankfurt airport. I wouldn't have made it to Berlin except a kind couple rustled the Guardian newspaper I was using as a pillow to tell me they switched gates.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Emergency dental work. Wish I could have had it done in Germany, so that I could have participated in the burgeoning sport of "medical tourism."

V. painful process, both in the drilling and the billing. No insurance. Oh, the agony.

The only thing that redeemed my day was the prescription for lovely happy mouth pills, the purchase of Zadie Smith's On Beauty (finally!), and buying some much-needed craft supplies from Michael's. While in Germany, I have missed Michael's more than I have missed any other Michael. And I know quite a few Michaels. But none of them give me fake snow and wooden knick-knacks like my frumpy yet sexy superstore.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Within a 24 hour period I traveled by foot, subway, high-speed train, bus, tram, taxi, plane, and finally car. Now I am in North Carolina for my mother's low-key wedding.
She just infomed me that I am "giving her away." I'm so proud yet protective. I'm going to smoke cigars and grill her husband-to-be during the rehearsal dinner.
But let's talk about the day before I left Europe...doodley-doo, doodley-doo (accompanied by Wayne's World hand motions).

I woke up at 6, and dutifully took to subway to work whilst listening to Kanye to garner a little fighting spirit.
I taught English to a very stern German Frau who yelled at me afterward for leaving town to attend my mother's wedding and for speaking with an Ameican accent which she couldn't understand.
Of course I went outside and cried some baby tears into my second or eighth Latte. I felt really dejected and like a bad teacher.
A few hours later, I took the train to the border town Frankfurt (Oder)---that Neo-Nazi haven only a sickle's throw away from Poland. It was SO weird. I loved it. All the women had really strange dyed hair and seemed to know each other. The town itself was completely deserted and seemed like Cold War era snowglobe or something. They even have this tiny train that looks like a toy which runs throughout the town. Their Burger King was like the diner from Happy Days only with more Germullets. There was also a lot of stonewashed fabrics going on. And everyone was super white.
I took the tram (with another teacher) to Technologie Park, which is where the Solar Energy Complex First Solar is. So weird.
I taught a physicist and a safety engineer, and we talked a lot about beer. Loved it. During the class introduction, the safety engineer talked about growing up and living in a small "willage" of 600 people. I nearly peed with glee. "Willage!"
Now I'm back in the states, and still delirious from so much traveling. I'll post pics of the wedding---me in a dress!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Also, I'm doing a lil' somethin' somethin' for Extraraum in October, for the Berlinner Liste fair. Check er' out.
I just watched The Orphanage. I'm kind of freaked out.
Ok, I like Guillermo Del Toro, but that movie has almost the exact same premise as Pan's Labryinth minus the looming figure of Franco. And why do the children die, Guillermo? Why? You make me feel sad and horrible in my heart.
Lessee, other things, other things:
Had my first Business English teaching lesson: I made them do a S.W.O.T. analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) for Britney Spears. Gotta liven up the business terminology somehow. Plus, what English lesson is complete without the magical words "Kevin Federline." It's both a tongue twister, and a great networking tool!

I know that doesn't make sense, leave me alone.

Today I went to visit Willi at Elixia, the gym where he works sometimes. Don't worry, I didn't actually break a sweat, or do anything else that would impede my progressive bratwurst induced gut-expansion (I smell my next class in that sentence!).
Instead, I leisurely shared a lane of the pool and went to the sauna and drank cappuccinos. Even though it is cold as SHIT here (seriously, it's fuh-reezing), I am still holding onto my Summer sloth with all the tenacity of Sarah Palin and a moose carcass filled with babies.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Part of my intensive *scoff* English teacher training today involved learning Hungarian for an hour. It was supposed to teach us how to instruct beginners using only the target language. I wouldn't even be telling you this except the teacher (who is Hungarian) said I had the best Hungarian accent she'd ever heard. This proves my previous assertion that I am indeed only good at things that are useless, obscure or communist. Or all three, like grown up Bobby Fisher.

I start teaching on Wednesday (my first lesson involves banking terminology *shudder*), then on Monday I go teach employees of a solar-energy company in the small border town of Frankfurt Oder, which is literally just over the bridge from Poland.
I am going to go over that bridge and eat meatballs and figure out what Poland's national identity is comprised of...because I really have no idea.

Is Polanski Polish? Are all the citizens angry and lumberjacky? Do they still have consumption there? Is the polka Polish? What the fuck is Poland?
The other interesting thing is that Frankfurt Oder is known in part for it's large Neo-Nazi population. Woot-woot! I'm totallies gonna wear my knee high shiny black boots on Monday---just to be sure and impress all the cute boyz.

"Ooh, Henrich's hair is getting kinda' leftist, what with it's extra millimeter in the back, next thing you know he'll be watching Weeds. This isn't Frankfurt Am Main, Henrich! Let's shank him with my esoteric Hitler-bobblehead lance."

Reading public: If you don't hear from me, it's because I did something really liberalese and am probably being held hostage in some skinhead's sex dungeon. Please send Sarah Palin in with her crazy mooseguns and Hockey mom diplomatic powers.

*Please do not send in Sarah Palin, she would probably just stay up playing World of Warcraft with them.

Friday, September 05, 2008

I had the best night.
Firstly, the ABC art fair was a breath of much-needed fresh air for me. Nothing presented there seemed made to sell, and each gallery only showed ONE artist. And it looked great. My one qualm was that there was little to no painting---it was all sculpture and installation. But what a weird qualm to have, after being inundated with 5,000 psychedelic-ready to stuff down the pants of rich white men-paintings in Miami. So, maybe I'm happy there was no painting.

Secondly, the artists presented were really exciting. They had Mr. Thomas Hirschorn (a personal fave) and John Bock, and Daniel Buren (who disappointed a little bit) and Agathe Snow, and lots of other famous Euros. Not so many women....but this is Germany folks.

Ok, art, blah, blah.....Peaches performed! And I was literally 6 feet from her! And it was, I swear to god, the finest performance I have ever seen. She didn't even play her own songs, she just covered songs from Whitney and others. But man, not only can she sing, she is mesmerizing. She was wearing this unisuit that displayed all her bodily faults in very...um blatant ways. She also had a cape and occasionally donned some kind of chintzy Grecian mask. I almost cried when she covered "Turn Around." It was simply incredible.

Because I am so down with O.P.P.P. (other people's pictures of Peaches), here's some visual candy for ya':

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Parti-time in Berlin has ended and I am somewhat relieved---as is, I'm sure, my liver.

I've begun to eat groceries instead of mysterious rotating meats.
I've spent an inordinate amount of time watching 30 Rock online.
I've started using weird German grout that comes in large toothpaste tubes.
I've said goodbye to all my transient friends now.
I might start teaching a business English class once a week in Frankfurt.

I'm growing up! In Deutschland! And growing out, German food is like a potato Hindenburg in your stomach every day.

Monday, September 01, 2008

For those few of you who care more about the Berlin art scene than my menstruation and/or emotional state, here are some art happenings I've attended lately:

This is a tiny bar/gallery who showed some Assume Vivid Astro Focus last month. It's a superweird and interesting space...so Berlin.

Our very own Andy Coolquitt is in this fun group show.

This exhibition made me cringe with it's perfect angles and painting. They were hyper-realistic paintngs of the gallery itself. meta-barf.

Annnnnnd, here's what I'm up to this week. Katharina and Gemo, my new German freunds who run the space Extraraum--which is a space connected to a bookstore/publishing press that specializes in printing underrepresented artists' books--invited me to go to this new art fair in Berlin, a possible competitor for ArtForum, called ABC (Art Berlin Contemporary). I'm pretty psyched about it actually, I like upstart fairs. I do not like fairs that begin with "B" and end with "Asel".


Pluuuuus, Nicole Eisenman, one of my art crushes of all time is opening at Galerie Barbara Weiss on Friday. Mmmm.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Today was more than a little bit Belle and Sebastian. Someone I really liked left, the first of my transient family to return stateside.
Outside it is already fall and gray and Gattica, which seems premature, but maybe will be work-inducing.
A close friend of mine was betrayed by someone he loved, and it breaks the little cheneyheart I have left. The things love does to us...it's crazy...like a fox in the snow.
Sigh, I'm going to watch 30 rock in my underwear and work on my graphic novel and start relinquishing my rock of negativity so that my garden may grow.

*Italicizing puts me in a better mood.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Also, Sister Mary Joseph, I know you punished my Gomorrah type ways by giving me some strep-throat-ish disease. Thanks a lot. From now on I'm using my Rosary beads as a thong.
I don't even know where to begin. I've been lagging behind like Dick Cheney's sad, forked reptillian tail. You know, the thing that creaks behind him as he lunges towards you in the dark. Dick Cheney is the crocodile man.
I went to a series of short lectures at Program (http://www.programonline.de/). It was fab, I don't know nearly enough about architecture, but at least I'm learning what an idiot I am. Self-awareness is the first step, or so they say.
Brian Boyer, my friend Katie's cousin and her current collaborator, has an interesting take on architectural theory; he uses the mantra, "form follows fable" to come up with initial designs for buildings.
For example: After studying Nordic folklore about sea-monsters, he designed this building that was engulfed by structures that resemble rows of teeth. Yes.
On Sat. Simone, Emily, Katie and I went to a club called Scala, where we heard Simone's tiny, polite German friend Sabine sing about her cha-cha Peaches-style. Then we tried to go to a boat party but couldn't find it anywheres, and instead just wandered the Spree for like an hour.
In good news, I have a couple of exciting show possibilities...perhaps. In not good news, my boss man is out of town until the first week of September, so my money-making has to wait even longer. Remember the time I almost became an online escort?
Them times is coming up again.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Today was one of the best days ever. I went with my friends Simone & Emily (http://www.nootnatdit.net/SEA/) and Katie to Schlachtensee lake, where we ate brats, went swimming, smoked a joint, and walked around the small town of Schlachtensee. It was one of the more magical (although slightly THC enhanced) times I've had.
The conversation was really lovely and the following topics were discussed at length:

-Getting pentagrams tattooed on our ladyparts.
-Building fairy houses out of sticks and other forest detritus.
-Fairies in general, Norwegian fairies specifically. Apparently 85% percent of their population believe in "hidden people."
-Gang violence in L.A.
-My special fish skills (I am some sort of fish magnet because of my Piscean nature).
-My future career as a dolphin trainer because of my fish skillz.
-The smell of nuns.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Work Visa success! Sooooo tired, no stress and fear of deportation to keep me on edge anymore. Wasting away into blissful relief. Mmmm.
Woman was like dominatrix: but only a soft one. Domilight.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Awwww, my freunds Willi and Nicky cooked me a real German dinner with delicious meatballz and potatoes and veggies and buttermilk.
Afterwards, we watched Schwarze Schafe, (Black Sheep) which is a German movie about quirky Berlin characters loosely tethered to each other by their surroundings. It's not a novel storyline to be sure, but there was a scene where this goth kid....um, takes advantage of his comatose grandma during a satanic ritual. It was really disturbing considering that this movie was a comedy. Germany's version of funny = penetration of the elderly.

The other day I went to this cool space that also hosts residencies called Programm. It's an effort to join architects and artists and force them to collaborate despite their nutty sitcom-like differences of opinions. "That's my t-square, not a back-scratcher!" *laugh track*

There was a lecture about "ha-has," but don't ask me what they are because I am still really confused. Most, if not all of the other people there were architects and so the speaker made no effort to navigate away from archibabble. Thank you for not patronizing me, dear sir, thank you. But next time, treat me like a 12 year-old Appalachian because I had no fucking idea what you were talking about.

Someone called the lecture a "proquiem" as opposed to a "requiem" for American superhighways. And he did talk quite a bit about the theories behind current American highway systems and what the highways of the future would look like, which was cool.
My newish friend Katie is staying there right now, executing a project with her collaborator-cousin that entails, waiiiit for it.....feng-shuing the Panopticon! How fucking sweet is that.
Here are some of her paintings, she is also a librarian:

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I'm done with my Catholic guilt complex. Yes, I'm having fun and becoming a partymonster like Macaulay Culkin. Yes, I am tonguing way more people than is normal or orally hygienic. Yes, I am going to clubs called "Roses," and "Cookies" and "Cake." I am decadent and Caligula-esque. Chocolate-youtube-vomitorium.

But for 6-9 months in Austin I worked constantly and wouldn't even go out to lunch with friends. I was like a phantom and was socially negligent.

So I deserve this. Sister Mary Joseph (a nun I remember from my brief stint in catholic school) I deserve this.
And if fucking Germany would just give me a work visa, then I wouldn't have to explore my fat-kid gone wild issues through alcohol and dirty dancing.

*This post was more about appeasing my sense of self-doubt, and if you noticed, I am really, really not done with my Catholic guilt complex. Will I ever be done? I'm sick of chastising myself constantly and feeling bad about things. How did you indoctrinate me so, Sister Mary Joseph, how did you?
*Answer: through cookies and a graphic novelly version of the bible.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I missed the "Fuck Parade" yesterday. Fuck.
Berlin needs to get less fun before I die of exhaustion and embarrassment.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Firstly, I want to commend you guys for actually reading a blog with a boring black template, a verbose and self-obsessed author, and no pictures. I myself don't look at things without pikchurrs.
So, now that my digicam is kind of working (I can't fix the file size) I will give you a little insight into my new Berlin life. Very little, considering all the pictures were taken in my room. But my room is awesome. And as an interesting architectural sidenote, all of the bedrooms I've seen in Berlin are huge, while the common areas are tiny. I'm sure there's some commie significance to this (space to think about Marx and masturbate to photos of similarly dressed stocky women working on assembly lines?), but I don't know what it is.

The other pics are a lil' sneak peek of my graphic novel, "An American Artist in Berlin, or The Sad Little White Girl Story." And I decided to give you a sneak peek of my new haircut as well. I'm sorry, but I feel adorable.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Can't seem to use words. English getting worse, German not getting better. D'oh. Or Doch?

Went to S&M themed apartment replete with black and white tiles, hanging harness and Mapplethorpe-type photo. Watched a beerfest from above.

Some Canadian thought I was Canadian based on my accent (or lack thereof). Sigh, if only.

Moved. Again. I think this is like the 5th time I've moved this year, counting the moving of my studio.

Might start a job as a tour guide soonish.

I'm not funny anymore. I blame Germany. Here's an anecdote to illustrate this point (see! so succint and unfunny):

I was at an art opening and this severe German man said something he thought was funny, but no one laughed and he announced, "I just made a joke."
Then I said, "I thought Germans didn't make jokes."
And then he said, straight-facedly, "But I just made one."

Sunday, August 03, 2008

No one reads when I detail my work saga, only when I'm a sexitime talker and art-hater. Well, I've been having my share of both sexitime and art-hating. However, I will only indulge my Emin-esque diary entry bullshit impulse when I cannot hold it in any longer. It's like pee.

To tide you over, here's some stuff not related to hole-punching, number staring, form-filing and omigodI'mgoingtokillalltheGermans-ing.

I've been going to these Wed. night film screenings in this big warehouse called "Basso."
Last time it was Logan's Run (fuck me, that film was amazing), and this time they showed some stuff by Kenneth Anger, but I didn't really go in because I am too cool and also because it was too crowded. Anyway, it's an amazing place/initiative, and I think they're staging La Estrada sometime next week with all the characters in speedos (speedoes?).

I just moved to a new place in Kreuzkolln. Upon arriving, I realized there are no light bulbs and no internetz---Oh, Berlin! You're such a crazy commie city. You care nothing of amenities, only utilitarian thingies!

But really though, the internet has become my only form of entertainment, I've been watching "French and Saunders" every night before bed. Jennifer Saunders, I love you. What am I going to do?

The apartment itself is supercool, incredibly priced (cheaper than what I paid in Austin), centrally located and next door to a heavenly Turkish bakery. I had Baklava today that was, quite frankly, unbelievable. It was so tiny and perfectly made, but I just manhandled it and smushed it in my mouth Lenny-style. Then I wouldn't shut up about it. And my new roommate probably thinks I'm some kind of Baklava newbie. Which I'm not! I've had plenty of experiences with Baklava! I'm just out of practice! I ate a lot of Baklava in college, but I was always drunk!

Um, anyway. I need to eat more Baklava. Take that as you will.

Toodles for now, I am off to meet that nurse mentioned in one the posts below. She speaks sooooooo fast (reciting overly personal anecdotes) and reminds me, I swear, of Liza Minelli, in, yes, Cabaret. Whatever, don't judge me for fudging my own hypothesis that Berlin in 2008 is the same licentious city of Chris Isherwood fame.

Scientists do it all the time. That creature that washed up on a beach is made of latex and Bubbalicious. Trust me, I know these things.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Today I went back to the Auslanderbehorde with my friend Nicky. Not to get my work visa but to get an appointment to get my work visa. We saw the inside of a multitude of waiting rooms. I'm beginning to like watching the screen, it's like a numerical lava lamp.
In between the floors there was this netting that looked like it was supposed to prevent people from jumping and killing themselves. Either that, or the Auslanderbehorde is taking a tongue-in-cheek approach to the convergence of playground materials and suicide.
It was so perverse and "Kafkaesque."
While we waited, Nicky played Sonic the Hedgehog on his phone and I fidgeted nervously, imagining all kinds of German FrauDominatrixes that would slice my body with papercuts using giant thick folders imprinted with outstanding rules and loopholes.
*I also envisioned a lady with one of those commie mullets (think Billie Jean King) and a large branding iron that incised the German equivalent of "You're Going to Prison!" onto my chest.

Anyhow, it went fairly well. There was one woman who was nice and one guy who was kind of an ass. They looked at all my documents and said that I would probably get the work visa on the 18th of August (when my appt. is) as long as I get....private German health insurance.
Fuck me. I know this is the last thing I have to do, but what the fuck. I have insurance firstly (at least until sept.) and it works abroad. Nobody alerted me to this particular rule.
Anyway, this has been such a hassle that I am definitely going to do it and stay.

Germany, you will have me as your sassy, slightly amoral wife--whether you like it or not. I will eat your bratwurst, I will drink your bier, but I will not let you "slither into my ass" (this is a direct translation of an expression in Germany, one that my friend Willi used when describing Obama's speech: "Obama slithered into Berlin's ass").

*Also, I got a more permanent residence in what's called "Kreuzkolln," which is on the border of Kreuzberg and Nuokolln. My roomie is a Parisian/Italian woman named Ana Lucia, who is in acting school and has a few stories to tell I think. My new apartment is so "Berlin." It kind of looks like an old-timey submarine. There's a balcony. And some fake marble. And no furniture. And the ghost of a one-eyed seafaring man.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I got so depressed today. I went with my Norwegian friend Julian to the Auslanderbehorde, which is the Foreigner's Office. It's soooo far away and it was so fucking hot. By the time I got there, the magical elixir of wet bodies, apfelsaft and doner kebabs that comprise "subway steam" had smothered my brain.
Yes, Texans, I know it's hot there. But the difference is that you have a/c. There is no a/c anywhere in Berlin except for malls like the one I went to yesterday that carry quasi-American brands like "New Yorker" and have pharmacies called "Bong."

Anyway, when Julian and I got there it was closed. It was only 2 o'clock. I would have known they close at 2 if it had been anywhere on their website. Which it wasn't. Anywhere. I was so upset. Then I came home and shed sum tearz because I am a baby and I want this to be done so I can stop boring my friends with lame stories about bureaucracy. And then I wondered if it would ever be done, and if my job would still be there, and if I should really stay in Berlin, and when exactly my money was going to run out etc. etc.

Basically I had a breakdown based on inescapable heat, which was very "Camus" of me.

Ugh, power of positive thinking, relinquish my stone of negativity:

Good things:

I'm meeting a lot of amazing people, here are some very cursory descriptions:
I met:
A novelist from NYC
A cokehead from Britain who basically read me his dissertation (at great speeds) for an hour.
A Parisian/NYC artist who had the most incredible accent ever.
A bar owner from Oldenburg who dated the girl below.
A nurse who works at the Charite Hospital (where the Medical Anomaly Museum is!) who is obsessed with American television and insisted that I talk about "Rock of Love II" with her for...well, an excessive amount of time.
A personal trainer from Brasil who looked like a really, really handsome inmate from a handsome prison.
A trio of British brothers who opened a clothing store (mentioned below) and deal in exceptionally witty repartee.
A former North Carolina boy who has something to do with Peres Projects and speaks perfect German and wears shortieshorts.
2 guys from Oakland.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Ok, lemmesee I really have no new developments. I went to Peres Projects for an opening last night, which was fun, if somewhat mellow. Then one of my roomies, Simone took me to an opening at this clothing store, hosted by a bunch of brits in dandyish clothes; the event had something to do with an interactive experimental music-making machine, although it was turned off by the time I got there. Here are pictures of some of their wares:
Leggings, screen-printed tees and a lopsided haircut, these are the things that comprise the social experiment that is Berlin fashion.
Then we went to the after-party at this British guy's apartment. It was fun, although incredibly hot and haseeshish (second time I've used the "ish" suffix....does it really make everything funnier, or does it just dilute my prose?...who cares).
At around 3 or 4, we went to a park and looked at the stars, which was lovely even though I got dirt in my tweener parts.
Then I ate a cheeseburger. Of course.

Friday, July 25, 2008

So I went to see Obama in the Tiergarten Park with Willi and his two German friends, one of whom is a former speechwriter for the German Defense Department. It was really interesting to hear her take on Obama's speech. She thought it was good, but actually predicted the points he would make like 20 seconds before he made them.

Ok, I love Obama but his speech was disappointing. He didn't seem all that impassioned, and what's worse, he spoke about the history of Berlin using this really patronizing tone. Berlinners are very well-educated and they don't need an American (however handsome and charismatic he may be) to remind them that there was an airlift in 1949. They know that shit.

This made Obama's real mission---to channel JFK with a well-timed Berlin blockbuster that he can use as his "campaign backdrop" as German chancellor Angela Merkel commented--very obvious. Because he was really educating American viewers about German history, and using "the wall" as a metaphor for....I dunno...different walls.

It was a good speech, but it certainly was not a great speech.

It did feel incredible to be there, with over 200,000 people going nuts and wearing all kinds of Obama what-nots. I kind of cried at some point because I really do feel some kind of shift, a new hope. What else could make that many people see one man? And in Europe? I really think the world is excited and ready to support him, which is great.

Here are some interesting things about political events in Berlin:

*Uh, there was no security. Like none.
*People smoke doobies.
*There are beer stands everywhere.
*I only saw one helicopter the whole time we were there.
*There was a "cruising area" nearby.
*People climb on top of lamp posts and trees. And the police don't hassle them. Weird.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Obama at Brandenburger Tor. I feel as though I'm part of history.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Since my last post was a depressing diatribe on artists I don't give a shit about anyway, I think I'll devote this next entry to amazing things I've seen/done over the past few dayz:

-There was a man in a Batman costume accompanied by a girl in a Robin costume, and a man in black (?) and they jumped in some kind of military armored vehicle which was playing riotgrrrrl music and drove off. I really have no idea what this means.

-My roommate Caris and I went to Morgenland this morning and ate a hearty Deutsch breakfast that is growing exponentially in my stomach like a Germany-shaped nerf football. Or a sea monkey made of omelette.

-My friend Nicky and I went to the Bierhimmel last night for drinks and wound up being interviewed by British journalists for the brit magazine the New Statesman about cultural life in Berlin. Hawt. I told them about Adrian Piper.

-I am going to see Obama speak at Brandenburger Tor tomorrow with Willi. Uhmazing.

-There was this amazing fight outside the Bierhimmel involving two men trying to sell newspapers. One was very old, one was very young. The old man was ridiculously drunk and had this voice that sounded like gravel and bitterness (I can only describe his voice, not his words since they wuz in German). Eventually Nicky told me that the young man screamed, "Don't make me hit an old man!" Anyway, it was amusing and frightening to say the least.

-I saw the tiniest puppy today, it was seriously as small as my fist (and I have freakishly small hands). I almost killed him with my oversized orthopedic shoes.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Today I went to Jablonka Galerie and Galerie Barbara Thumm, both of which I expected to be interesting. Neither were. Here is the snarkiest synopsis ever, complete with venom and an unwarranted sense of superiority:

Jablonka: Ugly, macho Clemente paintings coupled with super-slick photographs of young, nude Asian women engaged in Japanese Rope Bondage (there were also a couple Richard Prince and David LaChappelle prints). Something about it just reeked of pretension, exclusion, and misogyny although I guess that's a very slippery thing to describe.

*The only time I liked Clemente was when a young Ethan Hawke pretended to make his paintings in Great Expectations. And that had more to do with seeing the artist mythos transfered so cheesily to screen opposite Gwyneth Paltrow.

Galerie Barabara Thumm: It would be easy to say that this show is the opposite of "macho," considering it's a lady making portraits of unknown women and scribbling quotes from Gloria Steinem and the like in the margins. But they were really terrible, gross and were not at all challenging...to any kind of system...or anything....or anyone. In one painting, she likened selling her work to selling herself. What an unknown and original fact. And you paint that into your painting! How meta and incendiary!

Omg, I was so shocked that this woman was showing at a reputable gallery. Her paintings looked like Kippenburger if Kippenburger had painted on quaaludes and taken himself too seriously. Sigh, here's a link:

Monday, July 21, 2008

No frills data blog.

I finally got what I wanted (no, not my Work Visa yet, just a baby paper) from the dreaded Burgeramt. Lemme explain the process:

I went to get an appointment. That was 2 weeks ago. I went back today at my appointed time and received a number. That number was 419. I had to go to a waiting room to find out the next room I should wait in. Then I went to that room. Then I waited.
There were so many Germans and children, and all the chairs faced the same way, which doesn't sound weird, but actually was seriously weird. Everyone was sitting in this really stiff position, and I began to wonder if Germans have some kind of specially fused spine that allows them to appear so pencil-like.
Of course, I slumped in my chair with my legs billowing sideways like a true renegade North Amerikaner. Then I placed my spitoon underneath me and dribbled tobacco and beef jerky and arrogance.
Then, it was my turn, and thank god, the woman who helped me spoke English. Then I started sweating a lot because these types of things scare me. Then she grimmaced when I said I was from Texas. Then she stamped a little piece of paper and it was all over. Then I listened to Jay-Z's "Brush Your Shoulder's Off," as I walked home and finally felt like a pimp again. Then I started writing this blog.

Last night my roomate Caris (www.carisreid.com) and I met up with her Russian friend at Monsieur Vong's, which is a famous Vietnamese place in Mitte. Then we went to the Bierhimmel, then we met Nicky at the SO36, where there was gay ballroom dancing. Then Caris and her friend went to Bar 25 while I stayed behind and danced to "Bootylicious" encircled by gay men. Then we went to Roses. Then I realized the trains weren't running and I needed to go home and sleep so that I could be Germanically punctual for my appointment. Then I went to my appointment, see above.

This blog entry is so anachronistic eh? Like that Seinfeld episode that unravels backward. Except not as funny, or as smart.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Also, I've been here one and a half-months now, but it feels like so much longer.
I keep chastising myself for not accomplishing more, but in reality, it hasn't been the meandering epoch-like passage of time that it seems. I guess. Or I'm still lazies like bumz.
I don't really have much to report.
I saw some good shows, and some sub-mediocre shitty shows in Mitte. The shittiest was this giant xeroxed diorama of a leafy enclosure. It was so dumb and looked like a science fair project executed secretly by some third-grader's overly concerned florist/mom.
No, no actually through the window the other night I saw a shittier show that consisted of word paintings with sayings like, "you can never be too thin." They made me want to puke up my Thai Red Curry, although not in a fit of cultural outrage, but out of sheer disdain.
Sometimes art is so stupid.

But there were some good group shows at Petrowski, and Geoff + Rosenthal. I also went to an opening at ExtraRaum, which is a quirky and interesting space with an amazing bookstore behind it.

Life is more exciting than art:

Yesterday I was hanging out at the Himmelreich drinking coffee and smoking cigs outside with Willi and I started talking to the owner of Paule's Heavy Metal Bar and he told me crazy metal stories about famous frontmen and Elvis impersonators jumping out of coffins. He had long hair in a ponytail and mysterious sweat stains on his all-black ensemble. And he told me about a famous metal guy who posed in an issue of "Playgirl" and then had a book signing at his bar. The punchline was that only gay men showed up and the pages were all "sticky."

I've been having 3-4 hour lunch/breakfasts lately, which, while amazing, can be quite frustrating. Considering how rule-abiding and upright the cogs in the German bureaucratic machine can be, I don't understand the "Pauly Shore, let's smoke a doobie we're on Deautsch Break" mentality of this country's waitstaff.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I forgot to talk about this amazing and amazingly weird dance performance I saw on Sunday. The title was something I can't pronounce or understand. But it was so strange. It was in this old warehouse that shows experimental theatre/dance etc. called "Dock 11."
It consisted of a huge boxing ring filled with water and ladies wearing boxing gloves in their undies, and slow motion fights, and topless things, and lab coats and a weird synth soundtrack. It was so fucking awesome. Except I got all wet and one of my roommates commented that it was like "Gallagher." Except it was awesome. It was one of those times when I am really, really grateful to be here.

P.S. Cathy Horyn was here a mere 10 days ago. I'm so sad.
sneeze. Trying to finish an ornate rug. Didn't get to say goodbye to my friend Meredith.
Don't know when my visa appointment is.
But enough emoting (it's totally not German), I am in Berlin and having a blast. Berlin Fashion Week begins soon, and I really want to sneak into sexy parties and steal Amaretto Sours and hair contraptions.
I am going to email Ms. Cathy Horyn to see if she's in town for the festivities and if she can snip me a piece of Karl Lagerfeld's hair for my black-clad Karl Lagerfeld marionette, which will dance and smoke and be a genius.

Some of you may remember Cathy as the NYTimes lady who I meshed names with, resulting in "AliCat." Which she then read about on here! Oh, my blogging hijinx!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Jesus Christ I need to stop living this way. I stayed out until 6, woke up at 3 and am very adamantly hating life right now. I need to start my job before I turn into a giant red-faced man whose liver plops out and sings songs like that singing bass. Singing liver.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Remember my W.N.E. (worst. night. ever.)? Well, today I had the W.A.D.E. (worst. animal. day. ever.)

Episode 1.) This morning (or noonish if you want to be specific) I walked into the subway at Frankfurter Tor and saw a dismembered bird wing lying on the ground. I came this close (makes pinching motion with fingers very close together) to puking chocolate croissant all over the other commuters. I don't know why this affected me so much, except that it was just gross and sad made me remember this really poignant Calvin and Hobbes comic strip about a dead bird.

Episode 2.) I was walking on Brunnenstrasse and czeching out the galleries there and saw a group of wasted punks and their dogs (the punks here, as everywhere, always have large dogs). Anyway, one of them picked up his dog by the collar and literally started beating it up, the dog yelped so loudly and painfully and I had this incredible heart-wrenching chest pain---it was a really disgusting sight. It reminded me of a time in Spain when I saw a gypsy couple kill a puppy to elicit sympathy.

Episode 3.) I was waiting for the train in Rosenthaler Platz (where I saw Adrian Piper!) and I spotted a mouse/rat scurrying near my feet. I almost jumped onto the tracks in a fit of pure fright. If my Adrian sighting was a sign that I was meant to be in Berlin, what does a rat mean?

I don't want to see any more animals today.

Friday, July 11, 2008

In lieu of another overly personal entry misrepresenting the power of Neil Young, I am going to post a pic of my friends Willi und Nikky.
You thought I was stretching the whole Cabaret thang, didn't you?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I am, once again, totally infatuated.
Sometimes I think I prefer massive, painfully calculated and infantile infatuations to real, lasting relationships. Actually I don't think that, I know that.
But man, those first few moments and kisses are heart-breakingly awesome and feel just like Neil Young's Harvest Moon or even Lionel Ritchie's I Call It love. I always thought I was a pessimist about zee love, until a friend told me the other night that I was the biggest "closet romantic" she's ever known. So, maybe I am. I fucking cry at rom-coms ok? And I came close to crying just reading about the robot-love in Wall-E.

The only thing is, after a couple of weeks I get bored, the Neil Young luster is gone and then it's just another humdrum techno beat, giving my ears relationship tinnitus.

Maybe I'm not so romantic after all.

*My new love interest also loves Neil Young.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I went back to the evil place this morning with my friend who has a baby inside of her only to discover that those German Quasi-Stasi are on "streik." Fuck. At least I know their reluctance to help me wasn't limited to my Americanness, and that my coy eyelash batting and tasteful yet suggestive cleavage might have worked under different circumstances.

Last night I smoked a joint for the first time in 6 months or so and ate the following in roughly 30-90 minutes:

-loaf of bread with cream cheese
-3 pieces of cake given to me by a bartender. Later I found out he had made the cake for someone's birthday in his night class. How sweet is that? People here--*who do not work in a governmental capacity*---are extremely nice.
-A giant dish of mushroom orzo.
-A good part of my friend's gnocchi dish.
-A chocolate bar.

It's noon, I haven't eaten anything today and I still can't suck in my gut. Spring Break 08' ! Woooooooo!!!!!!!

*Pot is legal here as long as you don't have enough to "sell." Anyway, for this reason I do not feel bad divulging that I smoked a little doobie. I would say "sorry mom," but my momz was the biggest pothead ever and told me about crazy naval parties where she and her pilot friends would fly a plane from Sicily to Ibiza and eat pot brownies and get jiggy with it. So mom, at least I'm not operating an aircraft vehicle. You are the one who should be ashamed!
(My new strategy=preemptive shaming).

*My friend Antje showed me this form to fill out when I finally do register my address, which states that the government cannot follow me or keep tabs on all my personal information. Unless you fill this out, the government does that or something. Kuh-reepy.

*Antje told me she has already been to the Burgeramt 3 times to register her baby. To register her baby!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Today I went to the Burgeramt (can't do umlauts, but please insert like 15 there) to register my address so that the Stasi can keep track of the amount of mucus I release as compared to the general European allowance for mucus release.
Anyway, the guy basically told me to fuck off, after I went there twice to fill out the stupid registration forms. He was old and judging by his moist nose/mouth area is definitely is in violation of over-mucusing.

I want to slip Germany a national Valium or something. I'll put it in a giant Weissbier and just wait.

So tomorrow I have to go back to the Burgeramt and see that guy again. Wtf.
Luckily I bribed my pregnant German friend Antje to come with me because nobody fucks with pregnant people.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Titus O'Brien's blog about Kara's show at the Modern is pretty right-on (even though I haven't seen said show, curse you Texas for having the ballz to show her after I leave you for sluttier terrain). Anyway, I heart Kara for the same reasons I heart my therapist: calculated emotional manipulation.
Jussssssst kidding. I don't have a therapist. Just a conscience and a little calendar with puppies barking affirmations at me.
Well, I went from being innocuously hungover and periody to being a fainting barf-robot.

I was talking to this girl outside when I started feeling incredibly dizzy, then I woke up in a concrete doorway to the sounds of her crying "help."
Now I have a bump on my head and everyone thinks I'm a narcoleptic or something. I've never fainted before, it's so weird. My diet here, consisting mainly of schwarmas, pastries, cigarettes and vodka tonics apparently does not do my body well.
I've learned so much about health and safety here in Berlin, I just wish I could have learned it in a brochure, instead of on train platforms and concrete steps.

Friday, July 04, 2008

This is a song my Grandpa taught me:

"Oh Thunderback, oh Thunderback, how could you be so mean?
To ever have invented the sausage-meat machine,
now alley cats and gutter rats are nowhere to be seen,

Ok, I forgot the rest of it, but in the end Thunderback gets made into sausage by his sleep-walking wife. I've just been thinking about meat a lot lately and thought I would share.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

I had to laugh at myself twice today already:

1. I woke up slightly hungover and periody and went to my nearest Turkish Imbiss and ate a whole rotisserie chicken at like 10 in the morning. It was gross, my face was covered in grease and a couple of people marveled at my ability to eat an entire animal before noon.

2. I had a sex dream about Martin Lawrence. How amazing is that?

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

K, still drunk.

Two things:
I programmed my new German celly to play TATU's infamous "They're Not Gonna Get Us" as a ringtone, which became very embarrassing on the subway today.

Katalin Hausel is visiting and we went out to Oranienstrasse to get nasty tonight, and by the end the trains were gone and I had to walk home despite my newly found fear of Berlin. But I made it without incident, and so I am no longer afraid. I am like Jodie Foster in The Brave One except I am not a vigilante. And I am not buff. And I was not a child star. And my cheekbones, while amazing, are not made of granite and magic.

Also, a dog peed on me today. And a man spilled his apfelsaft on my new purse. But I got a job bitches! Nothing squirted, spilled or otherwise will wash away my pride.
I got a job! Now I'm going to stay in Berlin forevers.

*If I get a work visa.

Monday, June 30, 2008

I don't understand how Berliners do it. I stayed out until 6 in the morning last night, and I want nothing to do with life today.
*The reason I stayed out so long is because the trains stop running at 12:30 and only resume at 4:30, so my friend and I decided to wait it out on the streets.
There were many amazing things about last night:
The fooseball game was boring. Deutschland lost and I felt very sad for those hundreds of people who had dyed their hair yellow, black and red as a presumptuous sign of solidarity.
There was some renegade rock show inside of a truck that happened on Oranienstrasse. The band/person's name was "Henrick" and they only played for 5 minutes before the frightening German polizei shut it down.
But there was a giant mob protesting and shouting "Henrick! Henrick!" Then, Henrick rode off, waving his giant police fine like a flaccid little badge of coolness.
Then my friend Meredith and I went to this bar called "Roses," which it must be said is one of my favorite bars in Berlin. It's completely lined with pink fur! And there are cheap ass lovely chandeliers everywhere! And a mounted deer head made of glass! And a rotating silver gun with angel wings! Seriously, the decor was like a dream for me. Plus, they played 80's classics like The Smiths and stuff all night.
Then Meredith and I shared a shish-kebab and waited for the trains.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Christopher Street day was awesome. Actually, as I was there, I was thinking it was one of the top 10 experiences I've had in my life. I don't know why I have constant lists running through my head, but I do--I blame it on blogging. Soon, it will be the 3 year anniversary of my stupid blog, and I can't believe I've been cataloging my life for that long. Why doesn't this self-discipline trickle like a little stream into other areas of my life in need of some consistent moisture.

Here's why CSD rox:

Caiprinha stands on every corner.
Rhythmic Turkish music blasting as people gel together, getting durrty in the streets.
A Parisian burlesque troupe performing a naughty teacher act to the Dresden Dolls (one of my favorites).
Drag Queens singing New York, New York (except they switched it to Kreuzberg, Kreuzberg), Highway to Hell and Coldplay?
A silent anti-gentrification type passion play starring a dreadlocked man feigning bourgieness in a necktie.
So much gender-fuckery. I've never felt so essentialized and conservatively dressed.
So many rainbows.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Gaaah, time to go to Christopher Street Day. Still so tired from pre-Christopher St. Day. The opening last night was fun, there were LED lightning bolts attached to a cardboard triumphal arch.
Sitting in an abandoned park with rocks and a bonfire, LED lights and towering office buildings made me really happy to be in Berlin. I hope Christopher St. Day is just as fun, but I have a feeling it will just be lots of people pushing me into other people.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Well I have a very promising job interview on Wed. Herr Boss man asked if I could start right away and implied that he would write me a letter so I can get a Visa. But perhaps posting it here is bad luck, maybe Blogger is Lucifer's failure-inducing online trident; shooting out blasts of hellfire and weak handshakes, molten lava and poor posture.
The reality is that I should really stop advertising possible opportunities before I've been afforded the proper time to f shit up. Cuz I f a lot of shit up.

And why am I blogging incessantly anyway? I think it's because I don't have a television. Or a phone. Or a committed and enthusiastic pet with which to share the daily challenges of expatriate life.
"c'mere lil' Uncle Sam, let me tell you about starting an account at Deutschebank today, I know you'll listen, you always listen," (Ali creepily strokes an embalmed cat)

I agreed to be part of Artpace's "2 to Watch" series, so it looks like I'm flying back to Texas in November whether I'm in the states by that point or not. *There was a joke here about San Antonio, but it was in poor taste, so I left er' out.

Tomorrow night I'm going to this thing, which sounds kind of amazing:

8:30 PM Friday, June 27th
Skulpternpark Berlin Zentrum
Abby Donovan "The Arrival of Meaning"

A temporary, one twilight installation of the "Meaning Tor"--one of Berlin's missing gates, a portal of sorts that will only be open one evening at dusk. A crazy scaffolding triumphal-not arch will serve as a proscenium for 2 meaning machines that will be suspended between the columns, to be approached from either side. From one approach a dynamo-powered LED lightning bolt, from the other, a dynamo-powered LED rainbow. There's no real correlation between how long one spins the dynamo and when a lightning bolt or a rainbow appears. Oracles of a sort, or brief symbol flashes that might give significance to the moment and context within which they appear. Or they might not. A sort of sad lonely magic. Temporary construction of meaning.

The whole works will be bundled up and disassembled and beginning at about 6:30 PM we will follow a route from 1 Gruenbergerstr to Skulpternpark Berlin Zentrum--kind of like a bedraggled troupe of medieval players. Have you ever had a carnival drive past you on the highway in the US? Kind of like that.

Then afterwards I'm going to a dance-battle at the SO36. Y-es.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I will say that it will be interesting if Germany plays Russia in the finals. Hello Cold War occupiers, howz it going?
Whew, Deutschland won against Turkey.
Not that I hate the Turkish, I just think there would have been riots and manfights if upstart Turkey had beaten Germany.
I went to go meet my friends Willi and Nikki at the Himmelreich to watch the game, but the streets were full of hundreds of people, all wearing Deutsch/Turkish colors and I just felt weird and sham-like and overwhelmed. As I was walking, people were singing the national anthem alongside the tv and I just felt so...not German.
Right now people are playing the kazoo and hurling fireworks outside of my window. I don't know if there's an American equivalent to the Europeans' craziness over fooseball, I can honestly say that I've never seen such widespread fervor in my life. It's like a country of Tammy Faye Bakkers or something. Heads bobbling, eyes bulging, tears flowing, money laundering (in bars?).

I almost cried myself, and I don't even give a shit. But there's something kind of beautiful and emotional about everyone in Berlin partying communally.

*Sidenote: I must say that in general, the Germans are quite staid and reserved. But not in fooseball.

*This is the longest and last entry I have written/will write about sports. Unless Germany wins the final, in which case I think every Berliner's head will implode and a bunch of wundershokolade will come out.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Well, I did end up going to the Lady DJ ladyfest, and it was awesome.  There were cabaret dancers with pasties dancing in the street!  It made my Minelli.
Well, I'm still kind of traumatized from the w.n.e. (worst night ever) but am trying slowly to chip away at my self-loathing and newfound paranoia about Berlin. There's something called frauenbuhne tonight, where lady djs play and I might go...or I might just surf the internet for prison dramas and leer suspiciously out my window. I don't know.

I started writing my long-procrastinated graphic novel, which is what I think I'll be working on for the next couple of months. It's totally meta and combines my experiences firsthand in Berlin with Sad Little White Girl's living with her grandmother. I'm totally over building things at the moment, as it is too fucking hard without a studio. I started on this ornate rug for my room, but I don't know that I'm going to see that one through.

I forgot to mention that I went to Peres Projects the other day and saw a pretty good show by Dan Attoe. I could've done without his Nauman neon-sex ridiculousness or his self-indulgent graphite ramblings, but he paints like a champ. I am rarely impressed by painting-paintings, but Attoe has an amazing way of capturing light and holding my interest.
Here he is:

Monday, June 23, 2008

My friend Nikki took me out for debauched times, which was fun, but then I lost him, then I took the wrong train, then I lost my wallet, and then I was molested on a train platform. Worst night ever.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

P.S. Turkey and Germany will be playing each other in the world cup this week. I am honestly terrified to think about what this could mean in terms of judo-street fighting, schwarma flinging and fireworks. Honestly though, based on the citywide response when Germany and Turkey are playing separately, I can't imagine the kind of chaos that will become Berlin on Mon.
Honest to blog (Juno!), I have so much to report:

I went to some art openings last night in these warehouses behind the Hamburger Banhof. It was pretty cool. The art was a little predictable, very much what you would expect to see from high-end "edgy" galleries in Berlin. But the spaces themselves were awesome, and one gallery screened The Five Obstructions, which I was very excited to see, although I left early and so only saw the first "obstruction." There was a nice, chill vibe with people drinking beers outside. Surprisingly not crowded...lovely really. And while you all are sweating ballz over in the states, I am enjoying the Alpine winds tugging at my long-sleeves. Lovely.

I got tipsy at said openings, and hung out with Mike Ruiz and his ladyfriend Ann. I also met this girl from Bavaria who looked exactly like Heidi, and not the Montag one.

Today I went to a "traditional" Chinese soup restaurant. I realized my gastronomical ignorance right away: I have never had "traditional" Chinese soup. It was very, very not delicious for little hung-over Ali. And there was no soup! Only those weird shrimp with eyeballs, tofu, and a mysterious (shudder) deep-blue gelatinous sea creature. The girl/waitress kept eyeing me so I had to eat it in order to be respectful, although I put some of it in a napkin in my purse when she wasn't looking (for serious).
I was about to leave (because I thought the soup was it) when she gave me a second course, which was great and redeemed the whole experience. Then, something even weirder happened:
I thought she was staring at me because I was stupid and American, but she came over to ask me if I was part Chinese. Wtf? I started laughing because no one's ever confused me for anything other than a goopy pile of Anglo before.
Then she was like, "you really look part Chinese, maybe you have some and don't know it." Then she asked the old chef man who nodded that I looked like I had a little Chinese in me. So weird. Mom, am I part Chinese?

Friday, June 20, 2008

One of my favorite things about being in a city is the subway. I love the subway.

Here are some things I saw on the subway today:

-Spanish-speaking twin boys with matching Nascar backpacks and German flags painted on their faces. It was like the U.N. exploded all over their little bodies.

-Some beautiful German woman sharing her pickled herring snacks with like the entire subway car. It was tender, but more than a little gross.

-Two GIANT men dressed like Sid Vicious sat next to me. I kept stealing glances, not just because of their punk'd out attire, but because they were GIANT. Like, where do you find subgenre clothing like that when you're huge? Big, Tall and Unafraid of Death?

-I also saw a man about my age playing a gameboy circa 1992. It made me so nostalgic for the days I wasted with my square, gray friend. I named him gameboy.

-There are several smells distinctive to Berlin, one of them was wafting everywhere in the subway today: it is the smell of warm croissants, cheap soap and piss.

To clarify my anti-beauracracy rant:

-I can get a job freelance teaching English (quite easily as a matter of fact), but I need a Work Visa to do so.

-I need a freelance English teaching job to get a Work Visa.

-I want an apartment, so I can get a residence permit.

-I need a residence permit to get an apartment.

See the Dilemma? It's like a fucking riddle. I feel like I'm in Labryinth inside that giant Fucking peach/bubble dancing with David Bowie while he speaks nonsense and rubs his Euro-manbag all over me. What fucking baby, David?!!! What fucking baby?!!

*If only.

A private Berlin School wanted to hire me to be a 3rd grade teacher, but informed me that the Berlin Senate would have to look at all my English-teaching courses and approve me. Um, the Berlin Senate? Wtf Germany? I'm cute and American! I'm entitled to do whatever I want! Give me things!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

List of things I like/dislike about Berlin:

Likes: Cheapness, good artness, schwarmas, strong coffee, former communists, gay ballroom dancing, the subway.

Dislikes: German bureaucracy, and everyone thinking I'm stupid.

Monday, June 16, 2008

P.S. I finally made a website!
*With the help of a website-maker, as recommended to me by Lozano.

Anyway, I'm still working on it, but here's what I have now:


Sunday, June 15, 2008

I guess Turkey won some kind of fooseball game or something, because Berlin (a.k.a. "Little Istanbul") has erupted into mass shitcraziness.
I was almost impaled by a group of Turkish/German youths brandishing wooden sticks with little Turkish flags on them. I mean, it's nuts here right now. People are screaming, cabbies are popping wheelies, everyone is two Warsteiners away from making out with each other, and the fireworks have returned.
Last night I reunited with my bartender friends Willi and Katja. There is also a new bartender at the Himmelreich who is Danish and wears bow-ties. Man, I heart Berlin.

At about midnight, I stumbled to the party (mentioned below) and was not disappointed at all. It was just as I pictured an international break-dancing loft-studio party for 300 people would be. It was inside some hotel and there were like 5 djs and free liquor flowing everywhere and model beautiful people and a giant rooftop terrace where 20 drunks were dangling precipitously off the edge.

There was a separate "viewing area" where a bunch of art was displayed in this crazily overblown fashion. The whole time I was there (which was only about half an hour) I just kept snickering to myself about how cliche this whole thing was, but at the same time, I am very delighted to know that parties like this actually do exist.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

My new friend Meredith told me about this party tonight, which sounds like some cinematic climax I would replay in my head, and not a real event. And oh, god yes I'm going.

*I know I'm probs breaking some privacy laws (I removed the address tho), but this is too good. The following is an excerpt from the lengthy, dual German/English email invitation Meredith forwarded me.

Celebrate with me on a Berlin rooftop:

Saturday, June 14th, starting 8 pm till late the next day

Meet da funky bunch:
I'll be pleased to welcome 200-300 friends, family & companions from the world of art, sports and culture; break dancer, bballer, graffiti heads, young or mature, writers, party people from all over Germany, Istanbul, London, Miami, Milan, Moscow, New York, Paris, Stockholm...... Are you coming?

Home-cooked food
Bar: Andre, Phil + Robat the Kid Berlin

Music: Da Hils, Don Brazo, Joseph Kratzinger, Noshe, Nushitzu & friends, Phonosapienz, Mc Veit

Breaker: Jerome the Metronom & Ko Crew

*I might also try to see this performance by the kids at Rhizome and AIDS 3-D, but really this party is my priority.

Dilek Pinar + oversized ship steering wheel

Also, I watched this music video today in a falafel place as I was eating. Totally nautical.

One thing Americans do better: Hamburgers. The hamburger I ate last night tasted suspiciously similar to the falafel I had earlier in the day. Wendy, I miss you.

Summary: I went to Mike Ruiz's gallery as stated and was impressed with how transformed/legit the space seemed (it is in his apt.). More later.

Was too tired, and had little "Sexi-Time" really.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Btw, I didn't mean to get rid of all my linx, Blogger took them away when I tried to change my template to something more light-housey and harboresque like this:

So, eventually I will redo all my hard-won typed efforts (sighs exasperatedly as she wipes the sweat off her lethargic, unarched eyebrows).

Tonight! Opening at The Future Gallery! Then Drunk! Then SexiTime!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

oh man, I am drunk but had fun meeting with Cauleen's friend, Meredith who has lived in Berlin for a year now. We went somewhere on Oranienstrasse, which is my favorite strasse. Afterwards, I tried to drag her to SO36, but again, it was closed.

My foot is quite a bit better tho, so that's good. Like Nina sez (that's Nina Simone), "ain't got no shoes, ain't got no feet, ain't got no money, ain't got no class, ain't got no...." it goes on...but the finale is: "ain't got no rhythm... but I've got a life! I've got my life, and I'm gonna feel it."

the end.
I just went and saw this girl about an apartment in Prenzlauerberg, and it was fucking beautiful. It was such a cool and big apartment and I really want her to choose me as her roommate, but after a few dashed hopes I am reluctant to invest myself emotionally in anything anymore. I also applied for a job at Peres Projects, and would love that very much, but again, big cities are hard and rat-racey and eat up little girls with sprained feet and sweater vests.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I am so pissed at my foot. It's the same foot I drunkenly fractured in undergrad and never got properly fixed. Fuck you left foot. Berlin is not a good place to have a foot injury as everything is incredibly far away and cobblestoned.

Reasons why my foot is getting worse:

Instead of relaxing last night, I trekked to this Biennial performance on the "Death Strip." I must say, it was pretty amazing and almost worth the pains now rocketing through my body.
The artists had about 6 BMW's tied together and drove in circles around a fire (which tumbled at some point) while some spooky version of "This Land is Your Land..." played. It was like a weird, overpriced wagon circle inside a shitty overgrown commie park, very cool. They also encouraged people to ride in the BMWs, the resulting vibe being one of a punk rock state fair or something.

And there was this fascinating mix of people: high-class curators creaming themselves about how "raw" and "offbeat" this was, mothers playing with their children, crazy German artists, pretty American gallerinas. It was in this deserted park and I just sat on one of the rocks and watched all the people.

Afterwards, I tried to go to the SO36 (partly to meet up with my German lover), but it was closed. I guess I'm not going anywhere until my foot gets better. Suck.

*I made a homemade splint out of undies(see above), which is how I was able to get around last night. Some of you may remember the thong eyepatch I made for myself during eye-infection 06.'
I am so fucking handy it's ridiculous.