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:

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

http://www.extraraum.net/
Our very own Andy Coolquitt is in this fun group show.

http://www.wilde-gallery.com/index.html
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".

http://artforum.com/news/week=200817


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

http://www.galeriebarbaraweiss.de/