ILMPITM turns 10: Happy Anniversary, whatever this is!

I started this blog exactly 10 years ago with a very short, weird note and the music video by David Shrigley for Blur’s “Good Song” from the vastly underrated “Think Tank”.

Since then, I wrote a gazillion times about The Maccabees and the Decemberists, compared a thousand artists to Kate Bush and/or Peter Gabriel, switched languages once too often for good SEO, had to disable a horrible Google “feature” that drained clicks and also let a leaching site copy my articles for far too long because I didn’t know any better.

But this was then and this is now. I was 24 years old and knew absolutely nothing (Jon Snow). This blog was a first step out of a rather depressive phase and I guess it worked. I even got over my Mumford and Sons obsession and started to appreciate, nay, love Laura Marling, so all is well with me.

I lost a lot of things in the last 10 years: quite a few blogs, the dream of becoming a journalist, the claim of never being one part of a horrible office affair, two jobs, at least two banking cards, too many passwords, a lot of pounds (food allergies: lose weight until it gets creepy and let people speculate whether you have an eating disorder!), a lot of stuff during two moves and my heart to the best person in the world.

All in all, the last ten years were mostly an uphill battle to becoming someone I don’t hate half as much as I hated myself back then. That’s growth, baby. And I guess that’s also the reason why I still have this blog because it’s a beautiful constant and I could always do and write whatever I wanted and still have (laughably few) people reading it and liking it. But those few people were and are great people and in a way, that’s fantastic. To have people like your (niche) stuff who are awesome instead of many horrible people misunderstanding what you do (or maybe not which means that you’re horrible as well!). So, thanks for all old and new readers for sticking with me for so long or for stepping into this blog that never exactly knows what it wants to be about and has large gigantic phases of absence.

Thank you.

And thank me! 10 years in blogging is amazing. I’ve seen so many 404-sites and abandoned blogs in the last 5-10 years (some of them even belong to me!), so I know how dedicated you have to be to keep it going without the blog being a success, you getting any money for it or getting a book published through it or whatever. The fact that this blog still exists even though it never showed any promise in rising readership or big popularity (except that one boob-songs-article that still draws clicks), is a clear sign that I have neither the drive nor the social networking skills to make it big in the world. But it also shows that I can do something just for myself and not give up just because hardly anyone else gets it. Since all kid’s movies, aspirational feel-good comedies and TED talks tell you otherwise, I am quite proud of that achievement.

So, here’s the song that started it all (it’s still one of my favorite music videos, after all these years. Only, I’ve since seen Shrigley’s work in a museum in London which was a hoot.

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Favorite Songs: Bill Withers ‘Grandma’s Hands’

Like many of my generation I first came into contact with this song due to its use in “No Diggity” by Blackstreet back in 1996. But the original is not just a nice sample, it’s an example of how great songwriting can really connect people. Wither’s memories of his grandmother Luna in church and his grandmother soothing, teaching and protecting despite her age and ailings are absolutely wonderful.

The mourning of her passing in the last lines nearly goes by unnoticed because the memories of her are so strong that she still seems to be there.

I really adore songs that are true and vulnerable and full of love. “Grandma’s Hands” is a song that connects because it’s about family and most of us can relate having a family member (or a friend) who always seemed to be there and help and soothe and spoil.

And yes, I do remember my grandma’s hands and how they always smelled of dove hand cream and how they moved when she sat on her couch knitting, like little birds, waving a nest or how they so delicately held her cup of tea as if she was dancing with the porcelain.

Mystery Blogger Award! Is it spoopy, is it mysterious? No, it’s mostly a chain mail thingy

The last time I did one of these chain mail-majingies was in December when I did the whole b/w-challenge (7 black and white photos in seven days without any people as motives) on Facebook which was actually quite fun.

Before that, it has been at least 3 years because I remember that I did that one questionnaire on my blog to intrigue and amuse my then very new boyfriend (spoiler alert: it worked).

So, since then, because relationships and 9-to-5-jobs suck out every ounce of time I had before to waste on this blog, it has been a little less social on here. But then Muriel did the thing and not in the murdery sense like that one chain letter horror novel I once read and which cannot be googled because all you get is Christopher Pike and that’s not the story I am thinking of, argh! Wait, where was I? Ah yes …

No, he invited me to yet another blogger award which still is a thing if you can believe it.

So, let’s get this started (as enthusiastically as I am when that Black eyed Peas-song of the same name starts which is not very):

  1. Put the award logo/image on your blog.

At some point in this chain, this image will have the worst resolution and be just three pixels with a mysterious file name, so it fits the theme, I guess.mystery blogger award logo

  1. List the rules.

(How is this #2 on this list and not #1?)

  1. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

Yeah, thanks Muriel, thanks a lot!

  1. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.

You know what, that blog looks airy, light and pretty, I will actually check that out, haven’t been on good pretty blogs in a while: okoto enigma

  1. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  • I think I am naturally uncool and real life cool people make me really nervous because I know that I simply can’t measure up to them.
  • I love to read and have a lot of great books at home and generally, I love all sorts of genres but most of the time, I will pick a horror novel instead of that really amazing sad novel by that young German writer because I love to be spooped.  
  • I usually play games on the easy mode and only sometimes on the normal mode because I hate dying in games (like, I really hate it, it stresses me out). I will rather cower behind a box for twenty minutes to stealth kill an enemy instead of trying out a bold move. 
  1. You have to nominate 10 – 20 people.

This is … look, I am 33, I have the aforementioned boyfriend, I have a job, I apparently play video games and struggle on easy mode and I have a few other embarrassing hobbies I will keep secret for now. How in the world can I know 10-20 blogs that I read regularly?

Ok, so here it goes: dear fellow bloggers, you don’t have to do this and if you don’t, I will not spam you or be mad because I really get it. So I mainly put you in this list because I truly enjoy your blogs and want others to enjoy them as well.

Spoiler Alert: all of these are mainly in German, sorry, not sorry.

Fluegge: this lovely lady writes about journeys, “Fernweh” but also about other things and she is just an amazing human being (as far as I know, who knows what deep dark secrets she will reveal, muahaha). And I guess because these awards are also here to extend readerships, I simply have to nominate her.

JHubner: my music blog is a sorry excuse of a blog compared to Mr. Hubners amazing trove of alternative and indie music, musings and pop culture tidbits. If I have the time and want to discover something new, I can just randomly pick a review of his and it will be at least a 8/10. He also makes his own (good) music, so it’s a given that I will totally recommend him.

Loosy Says: because she did the thing back then and helped me to be charming for my new boyfriend. I recommend Loosy for everyone who loves food and cat pictures which on my account is at least 99% of the internet.

That’s it, my fourth choice would have been Muriel but he already did the deed, I told you I don’t read blogs. Gosh dammit, should I start again? Is it even worth it? This award really got super depressing …

  1. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.

I will … I did. 

  1. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)

Urgh.

  1. Which song reminds you most of your hometown and why (second part doesn’t need to be answered if too personal)
  2. What’s the one place you always wanted to travel to but haven’t gotten to yet?
  3. What’s the weirdest thing you ever ate and did it taste good?
  4. If Steve Buscemi had to play a main character in a hot new remake of “Mean Girls” who would he play?
  5. What movie always makes you happy, no matter what?
  1. Share a link to your best post(s)

It should be that one about the boobs-playlist but to be honest, one of my favorite posts is my apocalypse-playlist because – without really planning it – it veered into crazy territory.  

And I guess to get a glimpse into my writing about music, this “defense of pop” is a nice entry.

Last but not least, one of my newer features which is a collection of horror movies featuring mermaids.

And here’s the five questions asked by Muriel (I gotta say, though, it’s pretty difficult to decide which one is the weird one …)

Do you like meat?

I do. I like it less than I did, I noticed, but sometimes I turn into a ravenous beast and then I eat a lot of it. I don’t like all kinds of meat and usually try to get the ethically less horrible version but yeah, I like it.

Do you think you’d write for Springer if they offered enough? For the purpose of this question, we will suppose that they might be generous, but the perspective should be in the realm of possibility, so if you’re going to say „Sure, for 500,000,000€ a day I might consider it“, please don’t. Or actually: Go ahead. You can just name a price. I guess that would be a good measure of your willingness to write for Springer, or lack of same.

(For the international readers: Springer is a publisher who publishes stuff like the US FOX news or British the Sun – some of it is really bad and badly written, some is okay but still ethically dubious because there is a lot of sexist, racist shit with blaming all problems on poor people, migrants and other minorities and they also show a crass disregard for privacy rights of individuals)

Here’s the thing: I already sold out when I entered the marketing world right after I got my degree and I even worked in boulevard journalism for a while, so obviously I have no soul and would work for Springer in a heartbeat. 

BUT! I am at a point in my life where I actually enjoy writing for a company and would rather look for that kind of job than being a journalist. I also – at least now (knock on wood) – am not the kind of person who needs that much money to enjoy her life, so it wouldn’t really be about the amount of money that made me do it. I am quite happy with what I have, and of course I know how horribly cheesy that sounds.

So, I guess my answer is: no. But I really get why others would and definitely wouldn’t fault anyone for it (I would only fault people if they write actually ethically dubious stuff for Springer). And maybe at some point I have to make a decision like that. But it wouldn’t be about “how much are they willing to pay” and more like “do I not have other options, are they paying much more than literally anyone else for an amazing job and working atmosphere?” 

Sorry, to be so lame with this answer, I know I should have been super witty and sarcastic with this one but …meh.

What’s your favorite post of mine?

I really enjoyed your/Muriel’s writing experiment for “Bright Outlook.” which is – sorry, dear English speaking readers – in German. It’s a psychological experiment-thriller kind of story (something I really love) and I am so amazed that he basically put his story as a work in progress out there to let us – me included – comment and criticize away. It’s also a fun read. Also, I am technically cheating because this is not one but about a gazillion posts but if this was about movies and I would say “Godfather Trilogy” – or rather, in my case, “Lord of the Rings”, no one would bat an eye.

If you were caught in a different time stream than your own and had to kill Christian Weirich for a chance to return to your own, which kind of weapon would you use, if any?

Who is Christian Weirich? What kind of time stream is it? Are the people I know in that time stream as well? Do you know that I am against the death penalty and therefore could never kill someone, so what kind of sadistic shit is this, Muriel?

Is this some kind of insider joke and I get drawn into it, naively, innocently? Am I part of bullying a friend or foe of yours?

Also: do they still have the Szechuan Sauce from McDonalds in that timeline? Because if so, I would totally stay (I’m kidding, all McDonalds sauces are gross).

How do you feel about being nominated for this? Please be very honest and very extensive in your answer, especially if your feelings run in the general direction of „Was this really necessary I HATE those things!“

Well, I actually like questionnaires but I always feel horrible when it comes to the nominating part. Like, why would I want to be someone who forwards a chain letter. Didn’t we learn back in school that you can never win with chain letters?

I also always think that surely no one can read this and think ‘oh, this is interesting, she plays video games on easy-mode!’ – I know that this is some boring-ass shit and that it’s super egocentric and banal. 

However, to fully answer this question, I think it’s nice that I got nominated because it’s nice that there’s at least one (and probably not more than two) person out there that reads my blog. So, thank you, Muriel (this time without the sarcasm). 

I’ll play myself out with the iconic song by the Blood Red Shoes: “it’s getting boring by the blogging award entry”

Social etiquette in a Berlin subway

It is Thursday, nearly 7pm and I am sitting in the subway, tired, grumpy, In front of me, a men, unfazed by the world around him, trying out all his ringtones, all of them, the volume up on Spinal Tap levels. Everyone looks at him, looks around, for some savior who might step in and approach him, ask him to “(ring)tone it down” but no one does, everyone just staring at each other, staring at him, looking away. Because, you see, what kind of person sits there, with their headphones in one ear but the other ear clearly aware of the fact that he’s trying out all of his ringtones over and over again in full Spinal Tap volume level to the misery of at least 20 people in earsight. What kind of person sits there, not even blushing, not even looking? Now, he might just excuse himself and turn down the volume but this is a subway in Berlin. He might just as well shout, scream, get vulgar or say things no one understands, wild conspiracies under a shining tin foil, spit flying, arms flaying.

So, we sit and look around, nearly scared of someone to step up because what kind of person would step up to face this probability of subway madness? Someone equally if not more so unfazed by societies etiquettes, someone willing to turn a parade of ringtones into a subway brawl. But it’s Thursday, nearly 7pm, we’re all tired. So we think: only 3 more stops, only 10 minutes, only 26 more ringtones until I can step into the cold, awful smelling night and hum one of the ringtones – surely the most annoying one – till I get home.

Best of 2016: 30 things that delighted me last year

I wanted to write this weeks before New Year’s Eve and then I didn’t, so now I have to use the last free day before work begins to hurl out this stupid list just because tradition. Hrmpf. Anyways, as my last entry already stated, from a world political point of view, 2016 was horrendous. Not the worst year ever (seriously, that’s a bad thing to say) but definitely a year that marked a lot of changes that will affect the rest of the world immensely this year.

But I was blessed enough to have a pretty good year personally, I didn’t lose any friends, I even made some new ones, my family is alright, my cat is alright and I still don’t regret moving in with my partner (for someone who needs to rest after a three hour event with people, this still amazes me). But what else made 2016 a little more tolerable? Continue reading

Lazy Sunday: Under Construction

Hey y’all. I know that hardly anyone just stumbles on this blog accidentally, as most just want to read that thing about the boob-songs and the other two people read my blogs as they come. But just in case: I am working on a new category- and tag-system which means that right now, everything is chaotic and makes no sense. Have patience and be kind with me as I have nearly 1000 blog posts to get through. The results will be worth it, though: all the German junk I wrote a thousand years ago will get its own category and therefore will be out of the way for my English readers, random stuff gets sufficiently sorted and all your favourite specials (Soap Box! Lazy Sunday! Song Lists!) can be found in all their full glory under one category or tag.

And yes, I mainly do this for Google and not you but in the end it will help you more than it will help me with Google (as these things always do).

My 30 best things of 2015

Because I like a lot of things and am way too lazy to create a dozen lists to categorize them, I stick with my formula of whipping together all things I liked, enjoyed and discovered this year, so here ya go.

  1. The smartest man I know

This year was one hell-fest of newspaper-headlines and general tumult in my daily life. It’s great to have someone who is (and will be) there. To hate watch bad German TV with, read, see the world and go on lame adventures.

  1. Alabama Shakes

If it wasn’t for John Hubner, I probably never really would have given the sophomore a chance and I am eternally grateful for him always giving out the best music advice. The Alabama Shakes are a real revelation on their second record and dive more into the soul aspect of their soul infused Rock ‘n’ Roll. I gotta be honest – the whole Adele-craze left me a little cold but whenever I see Brittany doing her thing, my jaw drops and I am all over it.

  1. A good night’s sleep

My cat decided to not only go deaf but also go very loud most nights (around 4am). That’s partly due to my boyfriend’s weakness because he will stand up and get the cat some food – a cat knows, a cat remembers and a cat will use it against you if you ever show weakness like that. So, since a few months, I am very happy, whenever I get 6 hours of sleep without that little furry and lovely asshole crying in the hallway.

  1. Zsa Zsa Burger (Berlin)

If you want to get some burgers in Berlin, most people will give you horrible advice. Don’t take it, Hans im Glück, Rosen-Burger and the lot, they are all good but that’s it. If you want some really great burgers, you either pack yourself in the small confines of Shiso-Burger (a somewhat Asian-fusion but not really burger shack) or you go to Zsa Zsa burger and get some buttered brioche, fried onions (freshly made), good cheese and amazing fries – the whole combination tastes like heaven and it will be worth the admittedly steep price.

  1. Nimona

I am a fan of Noelle Stevenson since she marveled (wait for it) over the Marvel-heroes of Hulk, Iron Man and Co. Since then, I guess, both Noelle and I had to realize that Hawkeye, aka Jeremy Renner is not a cool dude to be around if you are a woman. But furthermore, I’ve come to realize that Noelle’s web comic Nimona – which I never read online but instantly bought when I saw it as a paperback – is funny, entertaining, very well paced and perfect for readers of all ages. That always sounds bad but consider this: Pixar is for all ages, and Pixar is amazing. So open up for a different take on a Jekyll/Hyde-scenario.

  1. Laura Marling

The more aggressive side of Laura took hold on her new album and the New York vibe “Short Movies” has (I am smelling Bruce Springsteen here) does suit her voice a lot. Speaking of her voice – Marling is one of the most fascinating artists given her ambition to test out what her voice can do and how it can take on different moods, personalities and styles. It’s absolutely mesmerizing and I will never not be a fan of her.

  1. The Decemberists

I saw The Decemberists live for the first time this year and boy, this is such a great live band mainly due to the chemistry on stage and Colin Meloy’s ease with the audience. Speaking of which, the audience was a beautiful mix of every (white) demographic you can imagine. Oh, and did you listen to their 2015 album? I am still hurting that they didn’t follow up “Hazards of Love” with only rock operas but this one features some beautiful songs.

  1. The Color of Water (by James McBride)

I think that we should talk more often about great things that haven’t been released in the last 12 months because this focus on the new shit is getting stressful. I, for example, read this beautiful biography about a white Jewish mother who raised 12 happy black kids and it was gorgeously written and very moving (the author – her son – is an author and musician).

  1. Bitch Planet

Feminist literature and music is nothing I seek out deliberately. I am the type of reader and listener who is happy about either by women and featuring women with or without a decisively feminist angle. But “Bitch Planet” sounded too good to pass on: it’s basically the ‘fuck you’ of a female comic artist after she was criticized for apparently pushing a feminist agenda with her popular Marvel (or some such) work. And she was like: you want a feminist agenda? I will shove it in your face like no one’s business – cue an outer space prison for unruly women who will fight against male sportsmen in an uneven fight. FUN!

  1. Sallie Ford

The award for most responsible for earworms this year definitely goes to Sallie and I thank her for that because otherwise it would have been something like “Hotline Bling”. Her mix of alternative R’n’R bunched up with some desert rock is like a caffeine boost at any time of day. Add to that some snappy songwriting and the greatest hooks and you have a winner – of my heart and my ears.

  1. Bird Box

One of the most depressing and beautiful books this year is a dystopian horror novel that is stark and pretty much all the way sad and hopeless – the premise is a world where people have to continuously have to close their eyes on the outside because something’s lurking there that is beyond human understanding and will drive everyone mad. Add the need for community, parenthood and love into the mix and this turns into an incredible read that makes you not believe in humanity at all (well, maybe a little bit).

  1. Ali Smith – how to be both

Ok, ok, the book came out in September 2014 but I read it this year and loved it and there you go. The story is hard to explain without spoiling the hell out of it but let me say this: “How to be both” is a story that excels in making you appreciate sound, sight and literature in a beautiful and very tender way. It is also a question of identity, loss and love (yes, again). It’s also somewhat of a coming of age story but not really. Confused? Just read a few pages and you see what I mean – it’s one of those books you can recommend to pretty much everyone (except to people who don’t like good books).

  1. Laura Mvula

Another discovery that was actually actual released in 2014 but it’s MY list, so you have to live by my rules.

Laura Mvula is a true revelation. I do think that “Make me lovely” is one of the greatest love songs I’ve ever heard and one that always gets me, regardless of my mood (similar to Kate Bush’s “watching you without me” and Peter Gabriel’s “In your eyes”). The whole concept of her album with the Metropole Orkest is such a lovely musically old-fashioned but lyrically modern project that it defies any definition. I don’t like bashing others in comparison but how in the world are Adele’s “25” (this year) or Beyonce’s weird surprise record (last year) the albums everyone talks about when we have this incredible piece of music right in front of our noses? I am not getting it. Mvula > Beyonce, Adele.

  1. Stallo

Norway & trolls – never change. A few years ago, I was nearly obsessed with “The troll hunter” one of the oddest movies in the found footage/documentary-genre. The novel “Stallo” is not as funny but equally absurd and therefore quite fascinating, given that trolls are really creatures that are not as universal as vampires or werewolves but deeply rooted into the Norwegian lore. To read a creepy story (not necessarily horror) about these creatures written by a writer who does not succumb to horror clichés and does some weird things with the plot developments, is just like watching “The Troll Hunter” – a strange delight.

  1. Key & Peele

I am always late to the party, so naturally, I discovered Key & Peele fresh right after the last season ended. I had tried some of their sketches first but apparently didn’t hit the sweet spot. My sweet spot apparently is tackling ridiculous clichés of male power and aggression:

  1. Amy Schumer

Oh Amy. As much as I love the geeky side of Amy Poehler and Tina Fey (the latter was the mean girl at school, though), I appreciate a comedienne who gets on the issue of dressing sexy, having a lot of sex and being sexy in general. It’s great that you don’t have to portray a certain image to do feminist comedy and it’s good that female stereotypes can be tackled without a “ha, women are so stupid” or a “men are the worst” at the end of the line.

Her “12 angry man”-spoof is one of the big sketches of 2015 and is the best test whether your friends are feminist or not (if you are not ready for heated discussions, tears and accusations, don’t test them).

Getting Jeff Goldblum say “Dildo”over and over again is a gift in itself.

  1. Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk

If I need a song to sing along to, so I can feel the constant dread of being alive subsiding a little, I turn to this song. It’s the best mixture of funk, pop and awesome singalong qualities (yes, I do the “whoo” as well).

I also want to point out that right now, Bruno Mars and Janelle Monae are the only famous performers that know how to work with a dancing crew.

  1. Janelle Monae

Juliane, are you cray? You haven’t listened to Janelle before 2015?

Yeah, yeah, whatever. I sure as hell don’t know why but now I am on the Janelle train and even if her vocals now and then remind me a little of Queen Bey, I highly prefer Janelle because her albums are tight (no fillers, y’all) and catchy and her whole style, crew and musical aesthetic has a personality that is a lot more defined than Beyonce’s ever was (wanna fight about it? I am willing to bring it on).

  1. IKEA

Urgh, I hate it but it’s the main choice to get a lot of stuff in one go at a reasonable price. Gosh darnit. The minute I earn a six figure number I switch to ethically sound furniture and never go to that hell hole ever again. Till then, I have to admit grudgingly, that it’s very practical to get picture frames, storage boxes, pillows, book shelves and super unhealthy Swedish mystery meatballs at once.

  1. Miley, what’s good?

I am mainly behind Miley Cyrus’ antics and think that overall, this girl has it together and will probably regret few things (the Terry Richardson shoots definitely, the MTV-outings less so). But her ignorance towards the criticism of appropriation as well as black artist’s struggles in the music industry has developed from mildly annoying to outright flabbergasting.

After pretty much accusing Nicki Minaj of being the “angry black woman” after she criticized not being nominated for best Music Video at the VMAs and suggested, it was because she was not white, I threw my hands up in the air and rolled my eyes like this little puppy rolls in a bucket and can’t get out.

Miley, what happened afterwards at the VMAs and what was – despite all your efforts to shine – the most perfect moment of the whole show, you pretty much begged for it by all the stupid-ass s*** you said in that interview. Don’t ever deny someone their outrage at social injustice, especially if you’re not in their shoes and furthermore belong to a very privileged group of people.

  1. A little black pony

We are sponsors for a little (fat) black pony in 2016 and that’s pretty neat. Maybe he’ll even go to pony college and become a ponytician.

  1. Stamp collections & Postcards

Because of my nerdiest of all nerdy boyfriends I recently got into the wondrous and creepy world of stamps and postcards. Wondrous because there’s a lot of stories these things can tell (we even once found a picture of a young man sent to another young man, maybe as a token of love?). The world of beautiful and beautifully tacky stamps is also a wonder to behold, if you want to see where teenager’s renditions of celebrities end up – S. Tome will put them on their stamps.

However, going to stamp & more-fares is the creepy part because most people involved in the stamp collecting business are sad old white men who tend to ignore you if you’re female and whose wardrobe looks like they once found a box of old East Germany clothing of the late 80s (the worst of all times for fashion) and stuck with it. It’s a dusty, joyless business but great for psychological field work.

  1. Old School Tomb Raider

So I bought the reboot of Tomb Raider (not the new one but the old-ass PS3-one) and I gotta say: I am a little disappointed given the very very very heavy shooter-element (it’s close to Uncharted but somehow worse). I like Tomb Raider for the creepy atmosphere, platform-elements and occasional big guys to fight. I do not like Tomb Raider for endless streaks of baddies coming at me (bro) and filling me with dread every 10 minutes. It’s a hassle, it’s stress, it’s not how I want to spend my spare time.

  1. It Follows

“It Follows” is not a perfect horror movie but it makes up for some sub-par parts with great acting, atmosphere and one of the greatest camera effects for ultimate creep. The story is somewhat a metaphor for adulthood and existential dread (also: teenage sex is bad) but works mainly because the entity (let’s call it that, so I won’t spoil the surprise) can’t be escaped. Back in the day I was absolutely terrified of “Ring” because once you got the curse you could not escape it – it’s the ultimate fear, something that you can’t escape (aka death or the cringe you feel when you read old diary entries). “It Follows” takes the same inevitability but amps it up with camera work that never lets you – dear viewer – off the hook because your attention is key. It’s a quite brilliant concept and scared me a lot.

  1. John Oliver

If you are not from Germany, you might not get this but every single day I prey that we’ll get someone like John Oliver, Amy Schumer, Trevor Noah, Jon Stewart, etc. etc. We don’t have anyone like that here. We have some incredibly dickish people who are funny at times and some nice people who are not really funny and a lot of dickish people who are not funny. There’s not one who seems genuinely concerned about the world, who is funny and still likeable. It’s a hassle.

So, I am clinging to someone like John Oliver who now and then tackles broader topics than the Daily Show and does so with a charming quality that I may call: the nerdist swag.

  1. Moving out

When I first moved to Berlin, I always thought that I would stay there for a year, get work experience and then head off to England or New York to become famous. Five years later, I am still in the same one-room-flat. Well, not any longer! I moved pretty much in a haze in September/October and despite a crying-fit one day before the movers came (how does so much stuff fit into one room and why are there never enough boxes?), it was smooth sailing. Don’t tell anyone that we didn’t even look for a flat that much but still found one within two weeks. This does not happen in Berlin.

  1. Desperate Journalist

My new musical discovery this year led me through Winter 2015 with angsty 80s-inspired wave-pop. It’s the right kind of music if the air is biting and the day consists of 3 hours light and 21 hours dreary grey and black tones mingled with depressed people on busses and trains.

  1. Spelt bread & milk

You know what sucks? A food intolerance that’s like “haha, I’ll be super illusive and you never know what works and what doesn’t because it’s all about freshness and hidden crap they put in food and don’t tell you about.”

And do you know what’s great? Food that’s like “fuck that, I’ll be good for you forever and always!” Thank you spelt bread and milk, I sure do love you!

  1. Introducing “The Court Jester” to people

“The Court Jester” is a staple of my childhood and quite possibly one of the funniest and most charming musical comedies ever created. Given that it ages gracefully it will never fail if you introduce it to people. They will be skeptical at first, leering at the musical numbers at the beginning but in no time, their little faces will shine with joy and glee and a new-found appreciation of Danny Kaye.

  1. Potatoes

See 28. Plus: there’s nothing that potatoes can’t make better (even a rocky marriage, a difficult political situation or climate change, trust me).