Category Archives: Music / Books / TV / Web

Backing up one’s files…


It’s definitely important to back up one’s files regularly. A broken hard drive and no back up – that has happened to me more than once in the past. You might think I should’ve learned from my own mistakes – well, I didn’t and now it has happened to me again: My poor Dell notebook had a fatal encounter with the hard floor on tuesday. It didn’t only damage the hard drive, it also affected so many other components that I will probably not be able to get it to work again… the chances are very, very slim.

Besides having to buy a new computer, I might also not get my files back either. It’s especially tragic for my little blog here since amongst many personal files my notebook’s hard drive also contained all my blog-files: Photographs and scans of the mail I’d sent and received, graphics I’d created, post drafts and completely finished posts (including the ones for this week I didn’t get to publish 😦 ). A classmate’s boyfriend is trying to rescue them though and I really hope he’ll be successful. Please keep your fingers crossed, everyone!

Slowly coming to terms with the loss of my beloved red Dell, I went into town and bought a new computer (a desktop not a notebook; I don’t trust myself with portable computers anymore. I only seem to break them). I also forced myself to finally make the change from a PC to a Mac, so I’m the proud (?) owner of an iMac now. We work with Mac at work and in school, so it makes sense to switch to Mac at home as well. Even though I’ll probably add a Windows partition to it too. Growing up with Windows it’s kind of hard to let go of it completely. Old habits die hard or so they say…

I guess this is probably all the computer misery you can handle right now. I’m longing to be able to return to a normal blogging schedule. I’ll try my best and stay optimistic :), just stop by again in a few days if you’d like to stay updated on my situation.

So, the moral of the story is: Back up your files, people – I mean it!

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An extremely busy but mind-bogglingly awesome week!

“Music does bring people together. It allows us to experience the same emotions. People everywhere are the same in heart and spirit. N0 matter what language we speak, what color we are, the form of our politics or the expression of our love and our faith, music proves: We are all the same.”

~ John Denver

Okay, I did it again, I neglected my poor blog and especially you my dear reader but I simply couldn’t resist the call of the music…
…well, and I wasn’t home for the past week:

We had a week long workshop at work that took up most of my time during the day and in the evenings – oh, my gosh, I don’t know if I’ve ever had so much fun – in the evenings some of my colleagues and me came together to make some music. We played “Radio” by the Corrs, “Like the way I do” by Melissa Etheridge, “Ain’t no sunshine” by Bill Withers, “Have you ever seen the rain” by CCR and a few others. I’m still extremely flashed and we all agreed that it would be mighty awesome to meet up more often in the future for more jamming sessions. It will be quite difficult to organize it all but I really hope we can make it happen.

Tonight I’m gonna start working on the new James Bond song “Skyfall”. It would be great to play that with everyone together; it’s such a beautiful song. I bought the sheet music for vocals/piano/chords online and now I can’t wait to get my fingers on the piano keys…

… so, to wrap up today’s post and introduce you to that wonderful musical gem sung by the incredible Adele (in case you haven’t yet heard it 😉 ):

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SENT CARD #14: The bookish postcrosser (a book recommendation)

(#14) DE-1079605 to Kylie (USA)
(The photo on the card shows the summer flora in our backyard that normal people call weedy and that I call pretty; and picture-worthy if nothing else ^^ )

Amidst all postcrossers there are quite a few booklovers, like me and like Kylie from San Francisco, the recipient of my fourteenth postcrossing card. Besides telling her what I did during the day (spending a great time at the barn with the horses), what made me smile that day (the fact that my seventh postcrossing card had arrived 🙂 ) and what I dream to do one day (writing a book), I also included a book recommendation.

My recommendation for her:

The Walk by Richard Paul Evans

The story in a sentence:
After losing everything Alan Christoffersen holds dear and everything he’s ever lived for, he sets out to cross the entire country, from [Seattle in Washington] to Key West, Florida, on foot and essentially find his way back into life.

And why I like this book so much:
Of course it’s a very traumatizing situation for a person to lose everything – and I mean EVERYTHING – it’s also incredibly fascinating to see how it also liberates them to do things they otherwise wouldn’t have been able, wouldn’t have dared or even wanted to do: Like crossing the entire country on foot. And most important of all: “The Walk” let’s the reader hope by showing that there is a road – literally! – that can lead you out of the deepest depths and most depressing situations in life, all you have to do is take the first step and walk.

 

Today I received my parcel from amazon containing the second installement in the series: “Miles To Go”. I’m really looking forward to reading it and will let you know if it’s any good 😛 like the first.

If you’ve also read “The Walk” and maybe “Miles To Go” too, I’d love to hear what you think about it. Feel free to leave me a comment below 🙂

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Le Mysterieux Carnival: Come join us all on October 6th!

I had so much fun during the Liberate Your Art Blog Hop this past weekend. And now I’ve stumbled upon this great upcoming blog-party in October: Le Mysterieux Carnival! Like I already mentioned yesterday: Autumn/Fall is my favourite season and I can’t wait for Halloween, so this is the perfect thing for me!

Besides sigining up online you create your own “Silver Ticket” to be granted admission to the Carnival. During the actual blog-party every participant will have a booth (post) on their blog sharing art, costumes, crafts, jewelry, dolls, puppets, food, books, stories, family photos or recipes. Some might even add a giveaway *hint,hint ^^. Of course, I’ll have a little postcard-booth with some special Autumn/Fall and Halloween themed cards. Uhh, I’m so excited!

Thanks Marfi and Anna for creating this awesome blog-event; I can’t wait to get started on my ticket and booth!

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RECEIVED CARD #13: 36°C, ice cream and Chinese art

In Germany we are enjoying – or maybe suffering – an incredible hot summer day. In some places it’s as hot as 39°C (102°F). So, I met with a friend at the ice cream parlor in town. And while I devoured a humongous Tiramisu sundae I decided which card to share with you today: This beautiful postcard from Wang Xuan in China.

RECEIVED CARD #13: CN-463199 from Wang Xuan (CHINA); Distance traveled: 4683 miles (7536 km); Days traveled: 32 days.

It features a traditional Chinese painting. Wang Xuan writes on the back of the card that these kind of paintings show mostly landscapes, scenery and animals. I think it’s a truly mesmerizing image. It’s a pity that I don’t know more about the Asian forms of art. Looking at this postcard it seems to be very different from our Western forms of art. I only occasionally try myself in the drawing of Manga-style characters like these…but that’s about it when it comes to “Asian art”.

My Manga characters Naruto-style… oh well 😀

Well, to wrap up this post I have some audio-stimulation for you: The song “Endless Summer” by Oceana; matching the hot weather in Germany right now! I hope you like it 🙂

Have a great sunday!

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RECEIVED CARD #17: I’m not Rosana

This postcard came all the way from the Spanish island Tenerife off Africa’s west coast. So it traveled 2,154 miles (3,467 km) in 11 days to reach my mailbox and me in Germany.

Noelia – or nosoyrosanna (I’m not Rosanna) as she calls herself on Postcrossing – is very passionate about photography and enjoys old school cameras using film. She owns two lomographic cameras and has her own little website to share her pictures with the world > http://www.lomography.es/homes/deprofundis

The postcard’s design is one of Noelia’s original photographs. It shows her friend’s dog “Bender” (yes, her friend named the dog after the Futurama character – lol). She used an extreme wide angle fisheye lense and redscale film. It’s definitely one of the most interesting cards I’ve ever received; I wish I had a fisheye lens…

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RECEIVED CARD #14: “Don’t cry for me Argentina…”

This postcard came to me all the way from Buenos Aires in Argentina. It crossed the distance of 7281 miles (11717 km) in 19 days. Thank you lautaro for sending me my first postcrossing card from Argentina and also for giving me a little brush up on my Spanish skills. ¡Muchas gracias! 

Have a wonderful new week!

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♫ Endless Red Tape ♫

Another promise, another scene,
Another packaged lie to keep us trapped in greed,
And all the green belts wrapped around our minds,
And endelss red tape to keep the truth confined 

They will not force us,
They will stop degrading us,
They will not control us,
We will be victorious

~ Uprising by MUSE

This is one of my favourite songs by the British band MUSE and especially the line endless red tape to keep the truth confined inspired me to create this piece of mail art:

I took a piece of cardboard and with the help of some superglue I literally wrapped “red tape” around it. The whole thing got so thick I was afraid the postal service would refuse to transport it for the price of a regular postcard. But no, I was lucky, they did accept it! It took over six weeks though before it reached its destination: The mailbox of Kerri Pullo in Tucson, Arizona. In spite of all that it actually didn’t get mangled too badly; I guess it’s just tough like that!

And…
Kerri likes that song by MUSE too!!! I don’t know how big a fan she is but I just love their music. I’ve been to two of their Resistance Tour concerts: The one in Berlin 2009 and the first of the two big gigs at Wembley in London 2010!
Here are some pics from the concerts. Their stage setup and show is just crazy!

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So, what do you listen to?  Does music influence your art sometimes too?

Have a great Tuesday, see ya,

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RECEIVED CARD #5: Nippon

日本, Nippon, the land of the rising sun or simply Japan is the origin of this pretty postcrossing card I received from Akane. It’s one of my favorites from all the cards that have dropped into my mailbox so far.

Akane used the most beautiful stamps too; and as always, I’m so jealous, I wish we had stamps like that here in Germany!

Akane enjoys beautiful illustrations but she likes creating her own illustraions even better. Most of all she loves to draw and paint dogs: Akane adores minitaure poodles but her parakeet “Green Tea” is featured in many of her illustrations too.

I visited her website アトリエあかね色 (Akane Color Studio) at akane-iro.net and she is a truly talented artist!  Just look at these…

Aren’t they just cute!!! Here are the links to the galleries on her website that go with the images above. Her site is in Japanese – of course – but any website-translator can help you navigate her page : )

My favourites are her toy poodle illustrations. They are soooo adorable!

Akane’s dream is that someday her illustrations will adorn postcards all over Japan – and beyond its borders as well, if you ask me ; ). I really hope that that will be the case one day.

Cheery good-byes,

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Monday Morning Soundtrack

Dear Friends,

It’s the first workday after New Year’s, 2012 is still wearing diapers and it’s Monday so I’ll be easy on you. I’ve put together a lil’ Monday morning soundtrack. Sit back, read, listen and relish ;D

6.00 AM – Sleep In Late by Molly Johnson*
The alarm goes off. Muffled by blankets and pillows some undistinguishiable curses will be uttered while a lazy and uncoordinated hand slaps the alarm clock incessantly ’til the snooze button is successfully hit and the annoying fiend disturbing the peace of sleep is silenced. Another three minutes of slumber are being granted and to sleep in late is a thought entertained for a little while.

6.15 AM – Monday, Monday by The Mamas & The Papas
It’s been done, the numb-body has risen from the bed and dragged its sorry self to the bathroom. Bleary eyed a wild looking creature examines the other shabby looking one standing in front of the sink splashing its face with cold water. Afterwards a toothbrush is surfing across sticky teeth, a comb is pulled through disheveled hair and a second glance into the mirror reveals that a slightly more human looking creature has taken the shaggy looking one’s place.

6.38 AM – Monday by Wilco
Jeans put on and sweatshirt pulled overhead, it’s time to rock the kitchen and raid the fridge for a glas of OJ and butter. Two slices of crisp toast end up on a plate together with an egg sunny side up and Monday begins to look a little better until at…

7.12 AM – Manic Monday by The Bangels
… the digits blinking on the digital clock above the kitchen doorframe remind of the bus which were to be caught two minutes ago. And, even if one had an airplane, there still wouldn’t be any making it on time.

7.23 AM – I Don’t Like Mondays by The Boomtown Rats
Rushing, hopping onto a bicycle and paddling like a mad man or mad woman, the weekly observation is being made: “I don’t like Mondays.

Do you have a favorite Monday morning tune? Is it something loud with a catchy rhythm? Or soft and quiet? Feel free to leave a comment and let me know!

Hope you had a good start into your first week of 2012 : )

.

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*Unfortunately I didn’t find any online source I could link to, but almost any digital music store will let you listen to a short sample if you go looking for the song.


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The same procedure as every year

Dear Fiends,

In Germany it’s already 2012 ;P – yay! Now, everyone living on the other sider of the Big Pond (aka The Atlantic Ocean) let me help you pass the time until midnight and the beginning of the new year by introducing you to this very special German New Year’s tradition.

Der 90. Geburtstag oder Dinner for One” (The 90th birthday or Dinner for One) is a short British cabaret sketch from the 1920s with May Warden as Miss Sophie and Freddie Frinton as her butler James. Back in 1963 the NDR recorded it in Hamburg and since 1972 it has been a German tradition to watch this black-and-white English-language sketch on New Year’s Eve.

Unfortunately I couldn’t embed the version recorded by the NDR. The video above is the version recorded by Swiss television and it is a few minutes shorter than the German one. If you wish to watch the NDR version though just click here you will be taken to their official website to view it.

I hope you had fun watching. See you next year ;P

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…gifts on Christmas Day,…

Dear Friends,

It’s Christmas Day which means even in the US all presents should be unwarpped by now. Lucky me, clebrating Christmas here in Germany, already got to open the goodies brought by Santa aka known as mom and others – but psshh…. don’t tell your kids 😉 – yesterday!

And today I want to share with you what had been hidden behind the jolly Santas, singing Angels, shining stars,  mistletoes and gingerbread men on mostly green and red paper. Continue reading

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SENT CARD #9: Reading Women

Dear Friends,

Work, the yearly Christmas craziness and the book I am currently reading have kept me from posting for the past three(!) days – SHAME ON ME – but I’ve dragged my sorry-self away from it all to write this post for you. I haven’t done much all day besides devouring page after page of my book and there are only 26 pages of 718 left… A Discovery of Witches is screaming for me, begging me to finish it. It’s the first book of the ALL SOULS TRILOGY written by Deborah Harkness. I won’t give in to it’s lure though until I’ve finished and(!) published this post for you to read and hopefully enjoy :).

Since I can’t seem to focus on anything but books today – there were only books on my Christmas wishlist by the way – I’ve decided to skip SENT CARD #5 for now and share SENT CARD #6 featuring the image of a reading woman ;P, with you instead.

I’ve sent this card to Riky, living in a small village in the Netherlands. She collects postcards showing reading women and obviously prefers to receive these kind of cards. The one I chose, or more acurately printed for her, since they didn’t have any postcards which would’ve qualified at the stores in town, shows an oil-painting done by Delphin Enjolras, a French artist of the late 19th and early 20th century. The painting featured on the postcard’s front is called Jeune femme lisant à côté de la fenêtre or Young woman reading by a window and is probably Enjolras’ most famous work. It’s a very beautiful painting and among my sent postcards it is the one most often favourited too.

Of course, reading is also one of Riky’s hobbies, among cycling, gardening and yoga. She received the postcard on September 23rd after it had travelled 193 miles (300km) in 5 days.

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Now I will be returing to my beloved book  —> —>

Is there a book whose story has gripped you for hours or even days?

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“57 Channels”

Dear Friends,

Today’s post doesn’t only have an image it has a soundtrack to go with it! WOOHOO!
You can listen to it here. I meant to embed it but can’t because WordPress doesn’t allow embeds from MTV.com – 😦 BOO!

Please go and listen to it ’cause then you are all set for today’s topic; so

–> cklick here to listen <—

and then come back. I even promise to wait for you here 😉 Scout’s honor!

Continue reading

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