– photographs and messages from inside the Sausurrean Bar –

Blog archives for January, 2012


Archive for January, 2012

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Dümmer See at sunset, autumn 2011

Lake Dümmer at sunset

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Things to do on a winter night

Things to do on a winter night, possibly when slightly feverish and a bit woozy and out of it from any number of drugs: sit or lie in the dark (on a comfortable rug in front of a blazing fire, if available), put on headphones (so as not to disturb the sleeping fellow inhabitants of the house, and for a greater feeling of intimacy) and listen to Indochine’s Nuits Intimes – I got the CD for Christmas and have listened to it any number of times since, in various settings (on a train, as background music while writing, on the go on the iphone, … ), but the name is definitely defining for it, and it is best suited to, well, intimate listening at night, and less to bright sunshine and crowded trains or excercise, or … .

It contains acoustic versions of both Indochine classics and (at the time of its recording) current Indochine songs, ranging from minimal instrumentation with just one guitar to more elaborate arrangements, but they all, throughout their simplicity or elaborateness, manage to remain – intimate, for lack of a better word. I personally like the slower and more pensive pieces, as well as the less instrumentalized ones better than the more uptempo and more elaborate ones, but they’re all lovely acoustic and personal versions.

Indochine for me are definitely a case of music discovered via modern media – I remember catching 20 minutes or so of a documentary about them late one night while zapping channels (must have been on ARTE I think) and being intrigued by some of the clips they showed – intrigued enough to look around for some clips on youtube and in other places, and first listening to them via the things I found online. Which led me to acquiring physical copies of their albums, as well as bying mp3 versions of some of their back catalogue (Itunes makes that really really easy), and to me now following them on facebook waiting for tour dates to be announced (they’re playing two gigs, in the middle of next week, in Paris. Not helpful! Though, I admit, if it weren’t term time that might be a different story …). I don’t think I would have gone and tried to find a CD in a shop from the brief glimpse on TV. I might have, but the action threshhold would have been much greater (write name down, trundle off to shop where chances are high no CD would have been available, as I don’t think Mannheim is high on French (new wave) rock (I was still living in Mannheim when I first encountered them), have one ordered blind, trundle back to shop, listen, …), and I am glad that wasn’t tested, as I would probably have missed out on some lovely music that way.

There used to be a lovely shop in Mannheim for CDs, though, call Prinz (which since closed down [because of some problems with their rental contract, AFAIK]). Its where I first listened to (and failed to buy) Stockhausen’s Helicopter String Quartet. Which they had readily available, come to think of it. So maybe I am doing them an injustice thinking they wouldn’t have had any Indochine. I am pretty sure that no record store in Flensburg currently has an Indochine record, though. Will check that theory when I am next in the city.

And, uh, in case you’re curious about Indochine now, here’s a link to their official youtube channel. (Some of the videos even work in Germany, no thanks to the GEMA [they’re blocking 95% of an official channel intended to exist by the band and its management as advertisement … kind of counter-productive, non?] Never mind…).

 If you can get them to work, check out ‘J’ai demandé à la lune’ for one of my favourite Indochine songs, or ‘L’aventurier’ for one of their most famous ones.

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Stones

Stones

It’s been really quiet around here because one of those winter illnesses tackled me and basically knocked me flat on my back and has been keeping me there for, oh, 10 days now? The worst (touches A LOT of wood) of it seems to be over now, though, so here’s to finally getting out of bed and doing stuff again one day soon. (Like switching a computer [not iphone] on – first time I’ve done so in … 12 days.)

This photo is from last summer, taken on the same day as the Beach Spider.

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

Early Morning Magic

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Thursday, January 12th, 2012

The Beach Spider

This photo is from Holnis, taken back in late summer/early autumn when R was here for a visit. The weather has been really inclement towards going out and doing some photography today, and (more importantly) I just finished grading lots of project works, so there’s been no time for anything but work and food and sleep (and, you know, showers and stuff) over the last couple of days. I sure didn’t stay bored for long, did I… .

Tomorrow there are students and professors to meet and there is comitteeing to be done, and then the plan for the weekend is to re-read T.C. Boyle’s A Friend of the Earth (which I will be teaching on Tuesday) and Tennessee William’s A Streetcar Named Desire (Wed). And I need to perfect my Cohen-crooning, as the song I ought to be able to play and sing by Wednesday is “So long, Marianne” (laugh and cry!). Busy busy busy. Still, amidst it all, if the weather is clement, I think I might go to the beach for a bit on the weekend, just to get a bit windblown and out-of-the-flat.

Grading and getting prepped for the meeting tomorrow were my big after-PhD plan, now that that’s done with and it’s back to the week-by-week routine I think the lack of frantic writing will really become noticeable. (One week today!)

Which begs the question:

The Ecozon@ Journal article submission deadline for the SF issue is Jan 31. For obvious reasons I haven’t written anything for it yet. But that’s, like, in two weeks. And I did all this research about books and TV series and films that I did not integrate into my thesis. Do I let the deadline pass me by, or do I spend the weekend frantically writing? I’m torn between being lazy and being productive. I mean, I’ve probably earned a wee spree of not writing anything, but if all I end up is bored instead, I might as well write, yes? Or if not the journal article, then at least my paper abstract for the EASLCE Conference in June? (Do I want to go? Yes! No. I don’t know. I need to publish my PhD, and funding (large parts of) both will undoubtedly be my own private affair, and I am tired of spending my own money on what is essentially work). And then there’s also the DGfA Conference. And ought I not wait and see what happens with my PhD? (Nah, but everyone keeps asking me if I am anxious about the results, and when I expect to hear something by, and I am really not all that anxious. I think I eventually will be, sure, but right now I am still mostly glad that I’ve handed it in, and still too fond of my intellectual monsterbaby to worry about its undoubtedly present defects. I mean, 375 pages on ruins and the environment and characters’ world constructions in the post-apocalyptic novel? I bask in the achievement of simply finishing it for now, anxiety is for next week).

Also, I think my brain is still busy processing The Works of the Emperor Julian somewhere in the back, as I kind of inhaled them only about 2.5 weeks ago. I’d read bits and pieces before, but not his whole oeuvre. Now I have. Which reminds me that I bought Stratification for the Archaeologist second hand on ebay a while back, and then did not have time to look into it. (I’ve been fascinated by stratification processes ever since I heard a presentation about Dune Field Migration in Stuttgart umpteenth years ago, as part of a DAAD Freundeskreis meetup thing. What can I say … things just … fascinate me. And keep doing so. I am not good at moving on. I just … add).

Monday, January 9th, 2012

One lamp in five

a lamp reflected five times, via trick lense

I’ve acquired a variety of second hand lenses for my camera over the last weeks, and shall be trying them out, now that there’s some spare time to fiddle with them. Expect weird and hopefully interesting results to appear here!

 

Monday, January 9th, 2012

TV review: “The Francincense Trail”

Thanks to friends with connections and (or is that connections to friends with?) digital TV recorders I spent the last four hours watching the 2009 BBC 2 documentary (I’d call it a travelogue, really) “The Francincense Trail“, which has been waiting for my attention for a while now. It was a good way to spent the evening, and has intensified my desire to travel the Middle East (lots). I want to go see francincense trees and walk the countryside and look at all the old ruins and visit all the vibrant markets and cities built from clay and see Sanaa and … . Yeah

The story is overly dramatic for me, in part (I didn’t need the whole show to cap on the francincense being used in Bethlehem at Christmas for it to be a good documentary), but not annyoing-me-into-stopping so, and the pictures are gorgeous.

I can’t say how accurate everything presented in the documentary is (I don’t know enough about the non-Byzantine history of the region and I’d actually never really wondered where francincense came from, or how it was transported in ancient times – not that that is truly at the center of the show), and it’s a lot more a charming and sometimes silly travelogue than a fact-heavy documentary. I think it is worth watching it for the gorgeous landscapes and the people that are encountered, even if some of the situtions seem contrieved. You learn more about camel jumping and camel herding than about francincense, but I didn’t mind, and watched all four hours back-to-back. (And shall now google more info about francincense). I am not sure yet if the presenter was charmingly uninformed or annoyingly vague and culturally insensitive, though. Her charisma was not bad, but some of her interactions with and reactions to the people she encountered had me go “urm…” and “culturally insensitive much?!?! HELLO?!?!?”.

Anyway: superb and well-shot landscapes, survivable narration, not a lot of cultural sensitivity or hard facts about francincense.

3/5

Has anyone else seen it? What did you think?

Also: Read Edward Said’s Orientalism.

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

A Dusting of Snow

 

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

And then the fjord ran over…

flooded flensburg

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

’tis done