Friday, April 30, 2010

plastic bag

watch plastic bag short film
Plastic Bag by Ramin Bahrani
Struggling with its immortality, a discarded plastic bag (voiced by Werner Herzog) ventures through the environmentally barren remains of America as it searches for its maker.
Go behind the scenes and read about the making:
Learn more about ITVS:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

hitting the bottle

my cat, sensing no emminent return of her master has quickly turned to the bottle to soothe her anxiety.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


german game show: STACKENBLOCKEN!
my mother would totally win this.

Monday, April 19, 2010

let's get skatological

apologies in advance for today's topic but this has to be discussed: the backwards platform toilets of berlin.
when i was a child i used to draw stick figures on a sailboat. stick figures were happily peeing and pooping into the wavy seas, their brown cacas landing with a colorful splash, much to the delight of my giggling brother.
as residents of the western world, we are accustomed to pooping/peeing into water. the occasional unfortunate backsplash are part of our everyday lives. soooo, you can imagine one's perplexion when, ok, i'm going to come out and say it - you're pooping onto a dry porcelain shelf. what the....?
there it is, your little creation, not floating in water, but rather coiled or plopped, sitting there in open air, probably stinking as it is proudly displayed on a white smooth surface, while the water hole thing is totally in the wrong spot. oh look, i've eaten corn! what the f? 
i've seen a bunch of these contraptions (thankfully not in my house) in the poshier west berlin jaunts, old cafes, pre-war altbaus. i don't get it. are we supposed to inspect our excrement for dysentary or discoloration? could this have been intended to help retrieval of one's family treasures ingested to hide from the nazis or something?
you can only hope that the water pressure flush has enough momentum to move the thing down the pipe, otherwise that's a rather uncomfortable situation i'd prefer to not even think about. shudder.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

outdoor ping pong tables

every park in berlin has a slide, some swings, a few drugs addicts in the bushes and graffiti' pong tables! finally got some paddles and a ball, biked to a picturesque part of the Tiergarten near a small pond and threw down with the breeze in my hair and the singing of the birds. the metal net is a little high, but good stuff, really good stuff. my serve is coming along nicely.

schlesich blau

so last night i wanted to eat at a little place called schlesich blau. a colleague told me about it. i'll take you. it's only open 3 days a week (wed-fri), fixed 4 course with few choices for 15 Euro. They don't publicize their phone number so i had to walk in earlier in the evening to make a reservation. they said they were fully booked (they often are) but that i could leave my name and number and they would call if someone didn't show. low and behold, at 9:15pm i got a call from a lady trying so hard to speak french...
we showed up and had the luke table waiting - above the cellar door. we were warned we may have to move once or twice if they needed to get downstairs. anyway, the place was jammed (size is about 11 4-tops, all old wooden tables, simples cafe chairs, little patio out front but it was raining), no smoking inside (thank goodness, that's super rare) and one of the 3 people working came and discussed the 4 wine options for like, 10 minutes, telling you everything you wanted to know about each bottle, why they have it etc... we picked a cotes du marmandais? never heard of it. i liked it. yummy.
the menu is on the chalkboard, you get soup, salad, and then a choice between sauerbraten, lamb navarrin, a schnitzel, ox fillet, dessert. not for vegetarians!
then we were given the "rules." you are given a shallow bowl, you take it over there and fill it up with your choice of soup from the three big pots, 2 types of - pumpkin, consomme, something else with meat floating in it. then, KEEP YOUR PLATE, you are given a bowl of fresh salad (mache, redleaf, parsley) with oil, and then you go over there and select one of the housemade vinegars (cassis, thyme, sage, garlic, that sorta stuff). then they take your order for the main dish and bring it out. whole time you have homemade olive bread and butter, some of the nicest servers i've seen this side of the spree and they loved the fact that they knew my name.
anyway, they ask you once in a while, ready for the next course? no hurry..they ran out of oxfillet and a bunch of other stuff by the time we ordered so we both had lamb, it was really good. there was a potato gratin thing which had some sortof stinky cheese in it which wasn't my bag, but everyone else seemed to down it. i saw some of the other side dishes that came out, white asparagus (which is everywhere now) with sauce, potatoes, down home cooking.

anyway, we were there for like, 2 hours? with wine (all bottles are 24Euro) it came out to 54E total for two people. not too shabby!