Thursday, April 30, 2015

Run-In


A Few Days Ago

I was riding my bike in Brooklyn with my friend. We were coming from our favorite vegan diner, had the best pancakes ever, and were on our way home. Suddenly, I notice a drunk guy who is cursing on the side of the road, next to his parked SUV. I don't think his rant is directed at me, but as I pass him on my bike, he jumps towards me and runs directly into my bike

I am screaming a weird girly scream as I am coming to a stop about ten feet further down the road. This guy gets scarier, he is still cursing. Now my friend is right next to him. Asking him what the hell he is doing. The guy then jerks his car door open, making both my friend and I think he is going to grab a knife and stab us. So we take off. 


My bike is fine. I am fine–at least I am thinking that at the moment. I am probably still a little bit in shock. This occurred on a one-way street. I am also thinking, what are the odds that a crazy guy runs into my bike? I'm upset. At least I am not hurt. As I am biking home, I am thinking that I could have fallen off my bike and into the traffic. Everything happened so fast... 


And then, after the initial shock, and the anger towards this guy, my thinking shifts. And instead of being upset, I am thinking about how lucky I am. So much more could have happened, and although I did not appreciate running into a crazy guy, nothing DID happen, so I am lucky. It's all a matter of perspective. Thank god.



Friday, March 27, 2015

I Don't Care About Latté Art

Today is Friday.


It's close to end of business day, and I take the elevator down the five stories and make my way towards the grand exit. I open the heavy cast-iron door to be greeted immediately by the city's traffic noise.

Luckily, I am not looking for the expensive coffee shops, that value latté art but not always taste. I am looking for the local coffee connoisseur–the one where you can converse about the latest great novel, read the Paris Review or the New Yorker. 

A honking howl of the first, then the second, and now the third by the traffic light, warning pedestrians–although we have the right of way–that a motor beneath their buttocks is a powerful thing, making us all impatient. 

I am reminded how brief my lunch break is and hop into the closest coffee chain, feeling like a hypocrite for not supporting a local business. Than I shrug internally, knowing there are no local businesses left in Downtown, Midtown, heck even Uptown New York City due to hungry real estate giants that are hunching over the city with their claws, swallowing up any local pride for art, and individuality, and culture, and diversity and. so. on. 

At least I will not go for fancyfied flavors that are supposed to cheat my taste buds–they beg to differ these days, at this age. I stick with a generic, boring black brew. The line is long, but I don't mind, now that I am away from the angry car honking for a minute, feeling European, knowing I will savor my coffee and not pour it down my throat, while I am hasting down the sidewalk or pasting down the stuffed streets cursing and cussing with the other drivers in a choir of city chaos. Then I notice the delighted words of a vacationer behind me.

"What is a muck-she-ah-toe?" says the cheery Dutch voice behind me to his friend. 

"I think it is something with milk." replies his American friend. 

"Oh, coffee to me is like a dessert, but I don't drink these special coffee drinks." Without looking at the man, I can tell he is smiling. 

The American friend nods politely. 

"But I like espressos, and I always put sugar in mine, so it makes it even more like a dessert. A good espresso is like my candy." The Dutch man chuckles in delight. 

Oh Europeans, I smile. We don't care about latté art or fancy-sounding flavors

The line moves, I grab my black coffee. The Dutch and the American are next. 

"Pardon, what is a muck-she-ah-toe?" 

I want to give the question bearer a hug. I walk out, greeted with a wave of angry traffic sounds, hush into the office building, forward looking to the simple joy of a black cup of coffee, knowing the weekend is just around the corner. Oh these small delights, what a joy they are. 


Saturday, February 28, 2015

The World, Wide Web


I feel alone in the vastness of being (online).

I browse the world with a tab, and another tab, then another one.

Repeat.

I connect to the artificial world on TV which turns into my family, my travel partner, my adventurist, my unqualified psychologist

For a little while the screen goes blank. 

The next one lights up. 

I'll find you satisfaction, in my never-ending blog roll

And I roll, and scroll

I'll be with you at least, until I am fake filled with happiness

Together we will be endless in this vast, vast world, wide web.

Until I go to sleep and dream of the world outside

The one I long to connect to.

But we forgot how that works in a city of facades, beautiful, blunt, big, and solitary people.

One with the world, wide web

All of us. 







Sunday, December 7, 2014

This Needs to Stop. Today.



"Get away [...] for what? 

Every time you see me, you want to mess with me. I'm tired of it. It stops today
Why would you...? Everyone standing here will tell you I didn't do nothing. I did not sell nothing. 
Because every time you see me, you want to harass me. You want to stop me [...] Selling cigarettes. 

I'm minding my business, officer, I'm minding my business. 

Please just leave me alone. I told you the last time, please just leave me alone
Please please, don't touch me. 

Do not touch me. 

I can't breathe. I can't breathe. I can't breathe. 
I can't breathe. I can't breathe. I can't breathe. I can't breathe
I can't breathe. I can't breathe."

These were Eric Garner's final words.

The officers around him did not perform CPR

__________________________________________
Rest in peace Mister Garner.

This needs to stop.
I want change.
Now.












I am tired. 

I. We. Can't. Breathe. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Gone Girl: Not My Type of Beer (Do Not Believe The Hype)

Warning: serious spoiler alerts!


I usually give a movie about 10-15, sometimes 20 minutes to decide if I like it. If the story doesn't grip me, or seem promising by then, I will be likely turning it off. After all, I do not like wasting my time. Of course, in theaters, it is a slightly different story. If I do encounter a bad movie, I have to stay for the simple reason that I paid for the experience and I do not like wasting my money. After all, I can at least write a blog post about it.

Gone Girl was one of those movies that I would have turned off if I had seen it on TV at home. But I was in a theater. And so I watched the whole movie. All of it. It was long. Precisely 149 minutes long. That is 2 hours and 29 minutes.

Initially, when I decided to go and see Gone Girl, I was excited. I mean why wouldn't I be. The movie had gotten just as much buzz as the book did (which I hadn't read) and everyone I know who had seen the movie praised it to the sky and back. But the excitement didn't last long.

Let me explain.

So, the movie starts with this love story developing between Ben Affleck's and Rosamund Pike's characters (Nick and Amy). They meet for the first time; he takes her for a walk and shows her an incredible sugar dust storm–how romantic; then he kisses her and puts two fingers on his chin as a token for his dedication to her or something like that. Boom. They end up moving in together; get married and then move from the city into a small town; nothing extraordinary so far

Next, their marriage seems to deteriorate. He looses his job which takes a toll on their relationship because of financial issues. The usual marital problems arise. Next, he is gone all the time. She doesn't get the attention she wants. Yawn

Now the movie begins when the plot twist we all know about comes up: On their fifth wedding anniversary, she disappears.

He has no idea where she went. So the search begins. The police suspect him after they find a speck of blood in their kitchen, but he of course if just as clueless as to her whereabouts. Witty lines are being exchanged between him and the suspicious female detective. This goes on for a while. The people in his neighborhood turns against him thanks in part to negative media coverage, and the only person who ends up standing by his side is his twin sister. (We watch this for what feels like an hour.)

Then, the movie, probably half way through, gets another turning point: Amy appears again. She is not dead! She has not been murdered by her husband. Surprise! We find out that she has framed her husband for her murder, and that she is on her way to a motel to then, in a few days, kill herself. Pretty psycho if you ask me. Now the story could be going somewhere.

I'm thinking, she must have a good reason for this, and I am eager to find out.

We follow Amy talk about her plan. How she managed to make the kitchen look like a crime scene; how she gets away unseen etc. etc. 

OK, now, lets wait for her reasoning–the chance to make this story great.

There it is. She saw him cheating on her with a woman half her age. Oh, he cheated. I'm disappointed again. Another cliché. But wait, he did not just cheat on her–it is more fucked up than that! Guess what? The moment she discovers another woman in her husbands arms, he kisses the woman and puts his two fingers on his chin in the same manner he did to her when they first met. Say what?! Nah uh!? He did not do that, did he! Yes. He did. How fu... I am being ironic here. 

That is it. That is the explanation we get: She snapped after he did the two finger thing. She plotted this whole murder. She wanted him to rot in jail for the rest of his life. She would even kill herself to execute her plan.

Oh, but then she realizes she doesn't want to kill herself, because why should she? She deserves a good life. And so she contacts an ex who believes everything she says, which is, Nick was trying to kill her and she ran away.

So this is where Gillian Flynn looses me for good. This whole time, the story is mediocre. And the hopes I have for the story to really take off and become something good is being crushed when we find out her reasoning which is just another disappointment after the other disappointments. From the point you realize the wife has plotted everything because he cheated on her–and did the fingers on his lips thing–it stays just cheesy. 

Now we get to see how crazy this character, Amy, really is. She doesn't just want to see her husband in jail, she by the way, had also framed an ex for rape before, and she uses that trick again with the other crazy ex of hers before she ends up killing him.

So... this woman has not become crazy when her husband cheated on her, or their relationship had failed. Nope, this woman was crazy to begin with.

Then, after successfully killing the ex who took her in because he believes her husband is evil, Amy returns to her town because she decides to like her husband again–since he gave TV interviews and he seemed to finally understand how a decent husband should treat her. Now he seems more likable to her. 

When she returns, Nick is not happy and hopes the world will find out what she had done to him. But, he quickly realizes no one will believe him and so he ends up staying with his phsycho-wife, who is also pregnant. He has no choice.

Why? Maybe because no one would believe him. And if he would leave her, he would pretty much be the worst person on the planet–after everything his wife had to go through–being kidnapped by her ex, who raped her, whom she killed in defense. Right, because no one will believe him, he doesn't leave!

So, in short, this movie is about a crazy lady who goes as far as framing ex's for rape. Murder. And then forces her husband to stay with her although she despises him. 

Despite the fact that the actors did OK. Despite the fact that David Fincher shot the movie, despite the fact that Gillian Flynn got to write the screenplay adaptation, this movie sucked, because the story sucked. 

Nothing about this story was believable. Nothing about this story was great. Nothing about this story was relatable. Nothing about this story was interesting enough to suck me in.

I have no clue why everybody loves it so much. Maybe after all, there is a difference between what books can do and movies often fail to do, which is really explain the depth of the characters and their complex motives. In the movie, it was all too flat for me.

This was just not my cup of tea, or as they say in Germany: this was not my type of beer.




Here is some of the incredibly bad dialogue at the end of the movie:













Thursday, September 11, 2014

9/11 Is a Teenager (We Will Never Forget)

13 Years Later
As the memorial lights pierce the Manhattan sky in memory of. September 11, forever a dark day. We cried a thousand times, tears of unjust suffering here and elsewhere. The numbers 9+11 in combination, innocent no more. These numbers forever engraved our minds with horror. So we chant: united we stand.

Louder. Forever. You and I together.




















I also wanted to share a quote from "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close". It is one of my all time favorite novels. 
(Don't read on if you haven't read the book, instead, read the book by Jonathan Safran Foer.) The ending is so powerful and genius. In it, the protagonist Oskar reverses the horrors of the imagery of "the jumpers" who jumped out of the twin towers windows, before the building collapsed. 

"I ripped the pages out of the book. I reversed the order, so the last was the first, and the first was the last. When I flipped through them, it looked like the man was floating up through the sky. And if I'd had more pictures, he would've flown through a window, back into the building, and the smoke would've poured into the hole that plane was about to come out of." 



Monday, August 18, 2014

My Twitter-versary!

I just turned 4 on Twitter... 

You tell me if that's an accomplishment. 

I will go and eat some cake now. And you, um... follow me on Twitter I guess.






A few thoughts on social media:

1. Even if you have ended a relationship with a person once dear to you, social media hasn't. Unfollowing or unfriending is not effective and doesn't prevent you from seeing pictures and posts of or with that person: You will always be connected on social media.
2. I always took selfies, even before there was a word for it. I called it: taking a picture of myself.
3. I regularly sign out of Facebook and Instagram on my phone, usually when other people's lives become too much to take for various reasons.
4. I once interned and became a social media specialist. My role was to manage the company's blog, Twitter and Facebook. Our Twitter strategy was: follow as many people as you can and hope they will follow back.
5. When I worked at Germany's equivalent to New York Magazine (in the sense that they are both news weeklies) I realized that the most updated news I can find were on Twitter, it blew my mind that the news' landscape had changed significantly.
6. Knowing how to create a following is a great skill that almost EVERY company desires. My heart desires not to know more about it.
7. I am a grammarian, even on Twitter and Facebook.
8. Twitter made me find pictures of my bf's ex. I regretted searching for them.
9. It pisses me off when people post pictures of their babies on Facebook or Instagram out of respect for the children that some day will be adults.
10. I am more media savvy than my whole family including my ten year younger sister. (I was the first one in my family to have a laptop and unlimited internet.)
12. I met my first boyfriend online; we were trying for forever and lasted 10 years. This makes me feel old.
13. The reason why I haven't deleted all of my social media accounts including Facebook and MySpace is that it is a history of mine I can't erase, because doing so would feel like a part of my life were to be undone.
14. My current boyfriend doesn't have a Facebook account. I think he is pretty smart. Then sometimes I think he is weird for that. I believe we are a great match.
15. My hashtag on Twitter is #TheFlawedHero.



That said, this reminds me of this article I read in the New York Times a few days ago titled:
Generation Nice: The Millennials are Generation Nice.

Here is an excerpt:

Suddenly, as you may have noticed, millennials are everywhere. Not that this group of people born after 1980 and before 2000 — a giant cohort now estimated to number at least 80 million Americans, more than the baby boom generation — was ever invisible. What’s changed is their status. Coddled and helicoptered, catered to by 24-hour TV cable networks, fussed over by marketers and college recruiters, dissected by psychologists, demographers and trend-spotters, the millennial generation has come fully into its own. The word “millennial,” whether as noun or adjective, has monopolized the nonstop cultural conversation, invariably freighted with zeitgeisty import.


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