And then everything changed

Donnerstag, 22. Juni 2017

My 10 All Time Favourite Music Videos

There are millions of awesome music videos out there and I'm definitely forgetting some great ones in this list. But here are 10 music videos which I've saved in my You Tube Favourites (some of them for years) and which I enjoy so much that I rewatch them regularily.
Do you share some of my favourites?

1. Eminiem ft. Rhianna - Love the way you lie

I'm obsessed with this video. I don't know what it is about it but I watch it all the time and it just sucks me in and gives me all the feels. I don't even like the song so much just the video. I think it captures the obsessive sides of love extremely well and also the casting is perfect.

2. Britney Spears - Criminal

Britney Spears has so many great music videos, she's really the queen of music videos. Some of my older favourites are "Slave for you", "Overprotected", "Crazy" and "My Prerogative" but the one I love the most is a (somewhat) never one: "Criminal". I guess it's just the fantasy of running away with a criminal (with a good heart obviously) and living a Bonnie and Clyde lifestyle that's something I enjoy. There are some really hot scenes in this video, too.

3. Kesha - Dirty Love

This is a lesser known and quite untypical Kesha song which I love! She wanted to found a whole new music genre, some kind of sexy girl rock, but she never got it through so all that was left was this song and music video. The video is just so much fun with lots of glitter and dancing.

4. Green Day - Jesus of Surburbia

This is definitely the video on this list which I loved the longest. I watched it so many times as a teenager and I still think it's genius. It's really long and it has a whole story without any music at the beginning but it's just so well made. It's really like a movie.

5. Panic! at the Disco - I write since no tragedies

Panic! at the Disco are one of my favourite bands and I rarely skip a song by them when it comes up on my phone. While "I write since no tragedies" is not my favourite Panic! at the Disco song, it's my favourite video. Because come on, this is just the coolest group of wedding guests anyone has ever seen.

6. Taylor Swift - I knew you were trouble

I loved Taylor Swift back in the day, especially her "Speak Now" and "Red" albums (the new songs - not so much!). This music video goes in the same direction as "Love the way you lie" as it shows an unhealthy relationship though here the man is more clearly portrayed as the bad guy. It is a well written and filmed story and I always enjoy watching it.

7. Kelly Clarkson - Since U Been Gone

This is also a music video which I've loved for many many years. I mean, isn't it every ex girlfriend's fantasy to destroy all of your ex's belongings? This looks like so much fun!

8. Kesha - Tik Tok

I can't believe I have two Kesha videos in this list. I'm not a huge fan of her music in any way but I do like "Tik Tok". I know that it's not the deepest video out there but it's so much fun to watch and I love the opening scene where she wakes up in a bathtub.

9. Plain White T's - 1 2 3 4

Plain White T's is also one of my favourite bands. "1 2 3 4" is not my favourite song (it's probably "Hate" or "Hey there Delilah") but the music video is just so very cute and it feels true. It alsways gives me warm feelings.

10. Christina Aguilera, Lil Kim, Mya, Pink - Lady Marmelade

Another classic. Loved this song when it came out and I still think the music video is simply fabolous.

Dienstag, 13. Juni 2017

Life sucks but you should laugh anyway; or: Why I love FRIENDS

I've been re-watching the tv show Friends for the last months. It's a funny story how I came to love this show. I never expected to like it because honestly I find sitcoms pretty ridicolous. But one weekend years ago my roommate was gone, I was bored, and had no Wi Fi, when I stumbled on my roommate's DVD of the first season of Friends. I gave it a try and I loved it. I didn't love the jokes (I actually still think they're pretty ridicolous most of the time) but I loved the story. Now that I am re-watching it in my mid-twenties it speaks to me even more.

Despite all the jokes, it's not a happy story most of the time. Actually the one thing that's constant on Friends is that they're failing. I can't count how many times they lost their jobs, how often they had to work crappy jobs they hated, how often their hearts were broken, how often they failed at achieving the thing they wanted. This reaches from little everyday goals to major life goals like having a child. That's the first thing I love about Friends: It somehow makes it okay to fail. If even your tv heroes don't have their lives together, than maybe we ordinary real life people are not such loosers after all.

The other thing is that regardless of all the disappointments and setback the Friends characters have to permanently face, it's still a show which makes you happy. Because through all this crap they never loose their humour. They make jokes about everything (even about things which would be extremely inappropriate to joke about in the real 21st century world) and they laugh a lot. They aknowledge that life sucks but they laugh anyway. Because really, what else is there to do? Maybe the only way to deal with all this ugliness is to joke about it. Preferably with your best friends.

For me in the end it's all about this: Life may suck but as long as they have each other it's all going to be okay. And isn't this true even outside of sitcoms? You may not be where you wanted to be, in fact you may be so far from that place that you doubt you'll ever get there, but as long as you're surrounded by the people you love and who make you happy, you're doing fine. You're doing great.

The Friends theme song says it all:

Mittwoch, 7. Juni 2017

Movie Recommendations - Edition: This year's Blockbusters (Part 4): Oscar Nominees Best Picture 2017

My interest in Oscar nominated movies has continuously increased during the last couple of years to the point that this year was the first one where I actually stayed up till 7 am in the morning to watch the Oscars live and have now watched all Best Picture nominees which I am interested in. I don't plan on watching Fences, Hell or High Water, Lion and Manchester by the Sea, so this post won't include them.

Apart from these four here's my ranking and my recomendations of this years Best Picture nominees:

1. La La Land

I feel like, you either love or you hate this movie and I'm loving it! (I've actually written a whole post about it already.) I've watched it twice yet but wouldn't mind watching it over and over again. There's music and dancing and LA and great costumes - what's not to like? But it was on a deeper level that La La Land truly spoke to me. I adored Ryan Gosling's character for being so obsessed with Jazz. I enjoyed both of them following their dreams though I enjoyed it even more when they failed. Because failing is part of the deal. You won't get anywhere without failing multiple times first. La La Land managed to bring this across while still leaving you with an optimistic feeling.

Also, the second time I've watched this movie I realized that the main couple was from the start far from perfect which makes the ending that much more reasonable. I don't want to spoil it but yes, I also love the ending. I think Damien Chazelle is a fantastic screenwriter who manages to create a dream like lovely feeling while still telling a story which feels utterly true.

2. Arrival

I was really looking forward to this movie and I wasn't disappointed. Not only is it Sci Fi with aliens visiting earth but also it's about a linguist. I study literature and I love that someone who studies language for a living is the hero of a movie. The movie was well made, though the camera was a bit too calm at times for my taste.

The story in itself was incredible. I was sceptical in the beginning if they would manage to bring all the sub-plotlines together in the end so that they have an impact on the main plot (because there's nothing worse than redundant telling) but they did it. Plus, in the end we find out that the main plot is not what we expected it to be after all. But you have to watch it, to see what I mean, because the suprise of this development (and believe me, you will be suprised) is really what makes the whole movie. We think it's about understanding the alien language, but in truth it's about so much more.

3. Hacksaw Ridge

This is a World War 2 movie about a very religious soldier who refuses to carry weapons. Of course first he's ridiculed for this decision but later he becomes a hero (a true story by the way). This movie was not as brutal as I've heard from friends. I mean obviously there's a lot of blood because it is a war movie about a medic but it's totally bearable. I liked the story and there was really nothing wrong with it. If you love war movies like I do, it's definitely worth the watch.

4. Hidden Figures

I actually watched this one in the movie theater. And it was fun. It's about four black women working for NASA. This was an unexpectedly light movie with many funny moments. I enjoyed it but it's not nessecarily a movie I would re-watch. It does combine two of my favourite topics: astronomy and women empowerment so there's nothing wrong with it. But somehow it didn't stick with me so much. I'm a sucker of Follow Your Dream movies which this one is but my problem was, that the message was actually: You can reach everything, if you're incredibly smart like these women. Which I'm not.

5. Moonlight

So, the actual Oscar winner is on the last place in this ranking which doesn't mean that it was bad in anyway. It was a very well made movie, especially in terms of cinematography. It's split in three parts and tells the story of a black gay boy, later teenager, then adult. It's the story of his sexuality and first love. I would have loved to see more of the society he lives in and of the drug dealer who becomes like a father to him and who was hands down the best character in this movie. After all Mahershala Ali won Best Actor in a Supporting Role for it, which is why I was disappointed that he only appeared in the first third of the movie.

Also it kind of threw me off that neither the actors of the main character nor of his love interest looked alike though the ages - the adult versions of them looked nothing like the teenager versions. But maybe I was just spoiled by Boyhood (Oscar nominee 2015) which had the same concept but was actually filmed with the same actor over 12 years. Additionally, for my taste there were too few and too long scenes so that thoughout the movie nothing really happened. It wasn't a bad movie but I think they could have made more out of it.

Mittwoch, 31. Mai 2017

#Readmyowndamnbooks Challenge 2017 - End of May Update

You might remember that this year I'm participating in the Read My Own Damn Books Challenge. Last time I posted about it, I owned 38 unread books. That was in February. I have read five of those books so far, but I also collected 14 more books I have yet to read. I know, this is a lot. But hey, there was a book festival in my town with a huge book fleemarket all over town and I went a bit nuts. But it's so worth it.

Books I've Read

Bob Dylan - Chronicals: This book is not on the picture because I already gave it to my Mum so she can read it. But I did finish it and it was fine. It was tough at times but it was still interesting and well written. I like Bob Dylan's writing, not only in his songs but also his autobiography. For a true fan of his this book would be paradise because he explains how some of his many many songs were created, but as I don't really know his work that well, sometimes I got a bit bored.

Adalbert Stifter - Rock Chrystal: Wow, I almost forgot that I also read this book because I had to read it for school anyway. My boyfriend wanted me to read it for years because he thinks my writing can use more descriptions of landscapes like Stifter does them. But the descriptions of landscape where the hardest parts in this book during which I was so bored. The main plot of two kids getting lost was cute though and the end almost made me cry.

John Green - Looking for Alaska: I know, this is a very very unpopular opinion but I hated this book. I had my issues with John Green in the past. His books were actually one of my 10 Things I Hate That Everyone Else Loves back in 2015. Which is a shame as I adore him and his brother Hank and all the amazing things they do on You Tube, as well as their podcast and their community. I think those two are fantastic! But John Green's literature? Not so much.

Then I read "Paper Towns" and I actually like it. A lot. It was very well constructed and written, the characters were well created and it was exciting and honest and heartwarming - everything a youth novel is supposed to be. So I thought: Why not give another of his books a chance?

I chose "Looking for Alaska" and it reminded me of all the things I hate about John Green. Which is truly just one thing: untimely and totally unnessecary dramatic plot twists which turn a book into a depressing piece of work. Don't get me wrong. I still think that he is a very talented author. In fact I enjoyed the first half of "Looking for Alaska" very much. It was smart and funny and sweet. It was fun. But then the plot twist happened and it felt so out of place and random that I just couldn't stand it. I think he's wasting his obvious talent on plotlines like this. But a lot of people love his literature and that's fine. It's just not my thing.

Val Williams - Photography. Understanding 80 masterpieces: This book collects 80 famous photographs and explains shortly how they were constructed and what makes them stand out. As I am interested in photography I found this book very inspiring and interesting.

John Cleland - Fanny Hill: So, this book is the reason I haven't ticked of more books of my list because it took me almost two months to read it. For such a tiny book that's a lot. Many times I wanted to quit (which I have no problem in doing, I actually quit "Looking for Alaska") but I was interested in where the story is going, so I kept reading even if it was really tough at times.

"Fanny Hill" is the (probably fake) memoir of a prostitute. It's from the 18th century which means that it's written in an old English which was difficult to read at times. On the other hand it describes sexual scenes extremely explicitely. This combination is kind of intruiging even if the old language won't allow any erotic feelings. There are several things in this book which makes me think that a story like this could never ever be published today. But I appreciate how honest it is.

Books I Bought

Marguerite Duras - Hiroshima Mon Amour: To be honest, I have no idea what this is about. But it is a screenplay which I enjoy reading for simple pleasure as well as improving my own screenwriting. It was only 2€ so I thought, why not give it a try?

Marian Keyes - Sushi for Beginners: I saw this book at the fleemarket and all I read on the back was that she's an editor at a women's magazine. As this is one of my dream jobs, this was enough reason to buy it.

Philipp Schmidt - Schattengewächse. Auftakt: I'm pretty sure that this is only available in German. It's the first book of a dystopia book series about how mega companies are controlling the world and apparently some people living in the underground have magical powers. I actually went to a reading of the author. I had some issues with a couple of minor things in his writing but the concept is interesting, so my friend and I bought the book together. Also it was published by a little publishing house in my city which consists of some dudes in my age who are super nice and aparently founded this publishing house solely for this author.

Peter Kurth - Isadora: This is a gigentic biography of Isadora Duncan, the dancer. I was always fascinated by her, so when I saw this book for 1€ in a bookstore in London, I took it as a sign.

Joanna Rakoff - My Salinger Year: I also bought this in London. I think I heard some good things about it though I don't remember what and where. But I like Salinger and on the back it said it's like Lena Dunham for the literature scene, so this sounds good enough.

Kiera Cass - Selection: I can't tell you how often I thought about reading this book and then decided otherwise because I'm not really into literature where a love story is in the center. But the girl who sold it at the fleemarket talked so highly of it that I decided to give it a chance. It's YA dystopia.

Janne Teller - Nothing: I had this book in my hand several times at book stores but never bought it because it was too expensive. Now I found it for 1€. I'm not sure what it's about. I think its Youth Literature and got good reviews.

Alexandra Fontzen, Axel Stähler - Das Gelobte Land: This is a Non Fiction book about Israel. I have been strangely fascinated with Israel lately, so when my friend found this book at the fleemarket I immediately bought it because I want to know more about the history of Israel.

Inka's History: Bought this during my amazing vacation to Peru to learn more about the Inkas. I already started reading it and it's fascinating.

Books I Got As A Gift

Plato - Collected Edition. Part 1: I'm sorry but this should actually be under this section, because I didn't buy it but found it in a box with free books in front of my college. I have already read some works of Plato, so I thought it can't be bad to read some more.

Syd Field - Screenplay: One of my plans for the next years is to learn screenwriting. I already did a class at my university and it was really cool but to be honest all I've learned was how incredibly hard screenwriting is. So I'm in need for some addtional training. My friend found this book somewhere on the street and gave it to me. Well, if this isn't a sign that I'm destined to write the next Oscar winning screenplay, I don't know what is. ;)

Marc Elsberg - Zero: This is a book by a German author which my Mum gave me. I don't really know what to expect but the last book my Mum gave me was "The Circle" by Dave Eggers which was mind-blowing, and not only does that prove that my Mum has an awesome taste in literature (which i obviously inherited from her) but she said it's like "The Circle" just even freakier. I'm looking forward to this read.

Ravi Zacharias, Norman Geisler - Wer schuf den Schöpfer?: The title of this book means "Who created the creator?" and I found it on the street on my way to the reading of Philipp Schmidt, who's book I listed above. Lately I have studied religion rather intensely, both for school as well as out of personal interested. This book talks about critical questions concerning religions which is perfectly in my spectrum of interest.

What I'm Reading Right Now

Holly Smale - Geek Girl. Forever Geek: This is the finale book in the Geek Girl series about a nerdy girl turned model which I also bought in a second hand book store in London. I've read the first two books of the series and then skipped about five, but I don't think it matters. I started reading it a couple of days ago and it's so funny and light and fun and such a great relaxation compared to the stuff I have to read for school.

--- From these books I want to read soon: Geek Girl, Zero, Inka's History, Selection, Schattengwächse, Sushi for Beginners ---

--- From the other books I still have I want to read soon: The lost honor of Katherina Blum, Ich hab die Unschuld kotzen sehen, Die Nacht der Masken, Die Zeit vor der Zeit, Inside WikiLeaks ---

So now I'm owning 47 books.

Mittwoch, 24. Mai 2017

Let go of the stuff that weighs you down

And with this I mean your literal stuff. Your belongings. Having too many things just weighs you down, it chains you to a place and makes you less flexible. You should also get rid of your emotional baggage but start with your actual baggage and you will be suprised by what an emotional effect it will have.

My main task for May (besides the obvious: surviving and not messing up too badlly) has been to get rid of stuff. I helped my Mum clearing out her basement and sold stuff on Ebay. I sold my old clothes on a fleemarket and the Internet and I donated and gave away the rest. I threw away so many old letters, birthday cards, study material, scribbles, articles I tore from magazines, and so much more. I had fun going through all these memories and indulging in the nostalgia of easier times (which were tough in their own way obviously - we just tend to idealize the good old times even if they weren't so good). But I had even more fun throwing those memorias away. I will always have my actual memories- Yes, I will forget stuff but that's just my brain's way of telling me that this stuff doesn't matter anymore.

For me there's nothing more freeing than getting rid of stuff. I always wanted to have rather few things than many. The main reason is that owning little makes it that much easier to pack up and move. I live in a rented apartment where all the furniture and other stuff down to the cutlery belongs to my landlord. It makes me breath easier. Sure, some day I might invest in sturdy furniture and pretty dishes but I'm only 25 and I love the feeling of being able to leave within a couple of days to wherever life drags me to.

Also having lots of stuff around me gives me a feeling of heaviness. It's messy and crowded. I can still make my place look messy without a lot of stuff but it's much easier to do this if you own a lot.

Lastly, in the end I aks myself: What does all this stuff even mean? Nothing. Sure I like cute clothes and fascinating books but only the ones which I am actually using regurarily. That's enough. Because if you think about it, things don't mean anything. They don't feed you and they surely don't make you happy. What matters are the people you love and the activities you're passionate about. Which is why I rather spend my money on experiences than on things. And I'm glad to see that this seems to be a trend. Minimalism is in. People start to understand that belongings won't make you happy. Which shows me that we're not living in such a horrible time after all.

Tumbler Photo

(PS: I know that I started a blog post with "And" - and I'm totally fine with it.)

Dienstag, 9. Mai 2017

Stop being a grumpy asshole and have a good laugh #4

On some days we somehow lack the motivation to do anything. On these occasions it always cheers me up to look at funny memes and pictures, especially if they're about my favorite fandoms. So here are some of them - the Harry Potter edition. There will be a lot of Marauders joke because come on, everyone knows they're the best thing about Harry Potter, right?

(You can find the Game of Thrones edition here.)