Saturday, January 24, 2009

When the creepers come out to play...

I watch them carefully as they lap up black puddles of blood and flap silently away to the moon.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


As I am currently designing costumes for my old high school's dance team, I stumbled across this little tidbit during my research. I have no idea what their routine was like or what music they used, but I prefer not knowing, and to imagine it all from this photograph.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Single Ladies!

Oh goodness, has anyone else seen this video? Girl just KILLS it! It's Amazing, with a capital A. I think the beauty is that it's so simple, it's all about her energy. Plus, I love the old school jazz touches like chasses and single pirouettes performed in high heels. You work it in your post apocalyptic tuxedo leotard with a robot hand Beyonce, you work it.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Thursday, January 15, 2009

It's not a dress

but it's true, so watch out.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Useful children

I am currently engrossed in The Doctors Mayo, a biography which my wonderful grandmother bought me during my recent visit to Minnesota. Not sure whether or not a work of non-fiction could hold my prolonged attention, I was tentative to begin but am now sold. The book involves all of my favorite themes: nineteenth century, historical academia, overcoming struggle and hardship, DIY ethic, pioneering spirit, and most of all, integrity. As working with children approaches once again (dance classes start next week), one little tidbit caught my attention and has been cycling through my brain today. Referring to the senior Dr. Mayo, father of the founders of the Mayo Clinic and his methods of child-rearing:

"From the time they were old enough to be of any help, Will and Charlie were expected to work as well as to study and play. 'Father wanted us to be handy'. He believed in useful children and did not allow his sons to acquire the art of loafing."

I think about this idea often as it is, but this snippet became a punctuation mark. What happened to useful children? I remember being paid nominal amounts to perform household cleaning tasks and was expected to clean my room on command, plus setting the table was a regular chore. Aside from these things, however, I don't remember having much responsibility. What happened to the idea that kids should be tolerated during work-related activity to see what adults are up to and yearn to be included in the task? Doesn't this teach them responsibility, good behavior, make them feel important and give them an insight into how they might function as an adult? It's possible this all but disappeared as we moved from a primarily agrarian society to a more urban high-tech lifestyle with plenty of conveniences to save us from threshing grain and churning butter. But does that mean kids should just play video games and watch television instead of helping wash dishes, shred paper, or jumping up to help unload groceries when dad gets home? I don't think so. Aren't there still plenty of things for children to do with adults to help them grow into responsible, productive adults themselves? I think most kids more than anything just want to please their parents and caretakers. Don't we just need to make the extra time and patience every now and then to show them how?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Der Deutsche Traum

I am currently working my way through the German WWII submarine epic, Das Boot. Along with trying not to imagine J├╝rgen Prochnow in Beerfest the whole time so I can take it all seriously, I have been enjoying the plethora of sweaty muscular Germans in muted colored undershirts and sailor beanies. Then this pops up in my inbox. Now imagine him showing up at your door to build the deck. "Hallo. I am ze carpenter." Alriiight.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

In America you can be anything...

just don't expect the good people of this country to respect it if "university degree, regardless of subject" is not in the list of job requirements. My favorite German often bemoans the idea that if you want to do anything in Deutschland, you can't just show up and fill out an application. You are supposed to have a 1-3 year apprenticeship education completed in the particular field you wish to work in. This Includes retail clerks, waiters and waitresses, tour guides, and so forth. (University is of course also an option if you are interested in more theoretical or academic disciplines). Like every situation, there is a positive and a negative side to this. The negative being that you can't always just show up and start a servin' after you prove you can breathe and carry a tray of food (well, not entirely true. I worked at a shady Vietnamese restaurant in Berlin for several weeks...although I guess they did take into account the fact that I had serving experience on my resume). The positive is that the types of jobs requiring such apprenticeships are better paid and elicit more general respect than their American equivalents. MFG's perspective is that many Americans already have a four year degree behind them at age 22 or 23 whereas Germans have an extra year of high school and dink around in between and maybe in their late twenties/early thirties earn a degree or a completed apprenticeship. This American "get'er done and pop out on the other side sprinting for a career" idea about higher education seemed more logical to him. I guess the realistic way to look at it is this: Ewald, leader of our "wine experts seminar" Monday night (highly recommended by yours truly, thanks bruth!) mused about the two different vintages he was presenting. "It's not like one wine is better zan ze ozzer. Zey are just...different." Expect further musings in cultural comparison as my brain mulls them over in the basement while shredded man-thermal dresses emerge in slow succession and run-on sentences reverberate...
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