Avoidance Tactics

21 05 2009

If I’m writing about ‘avoidance’ then I really should write about avoiding work; but instead I’m writing briefly about avoiding loons on the streets.

Yesterday I was walking to the Hauptstrasse nearby, and was consciously aware that a woman was following me. Not really that unsettling in itself, but when I paused outside a home wares shop and touched a blue bowl, when I moved off I noticed her touching the blue bowl too! Is that not just a little too close for comfort??

I woke nice and early today, at 6.22am, probably because last night I did NOT watch Ru Paul’s Drag Race. That means there were no hallucinogenic colours or ear-tumour inducing sounds to disturb the delicate balance that regulates my bio-rhythms. I’ve recently got hooked on Ru Paul’s Drag Race, which a friend of mine has been showing me. Four of us sit down to watch as many episodes in a row that our cerebrums can manage, joined as well by a crazed playboy cat (who totally wears a “freak em’ dress“). 


I cannot tear myself away from the bright lights (no doubt inducing temporary episodes of blindness), the creepy HA HA HA HAAAAA laugh after the adverts (no doubt inducing permanent night terrors) and the general mesmerising, confounding experience of seeing two drag queens spinning around lip-syncing ‘for their lives’, which could be a new practise for me – given that I really can’t sing. I’d be happy to share MAC foundations tips and false nail advice with my new girlfriends. Limelight sharing might have to be fought for though; I’ve seen how fierce the competition gets so I’ll have to start practising my Mika songs, and simultaneously wagging my finger and shaking my booty at the camera.

In return for my friend sharing Ru Paul with me, I think I’m going to make us a ‘Wellness Competition Chart’. There’s a small group of us living in our Kiez and we keep talking about our embarrassingly low levels of ‘wellness’. I think I will divide the chart up into ‘physical wellness’ and ‘psychological wellness’.

Points for Physical Wellness will include:
Going to bed before 3am
Getting up before 10am
Eating Vollkorn bread
Exercise – cycling, dog walking, shaving (why not?), walking (at least as far to the U-bahn stop), lifting the remote control

Points for Psychological Wellness will include:
Walking past any church (that really will suffice)
Avoiding local lunatics
Watching the scene where that automaton girl from The OC dies, and NOT crying at it

Points will be deducted for:
Late night snacking, thus avoiding a ‘Pommes Headache
Leaving clubs at 5am and heading straight to the 24hour bakery
Purposefully talking to the local lunatics
Every hour of dementia inducing television watched

Singing the ‘knutschflecke’ song on Singstar

Any evidence of bin hoking

Bonus points:
Risk taking – drinking in the local bar favoured by prostitutes/asylum residents, entering any of the tacky sex shops on our local strip
Taking surreptitious night-time bin hoking photos
Reaching out to stroke the obese pitbull dogs living on our street


In other news I can’t wait for my hot date with my new Drag Queen girlfriend (seriously, that part’s real, I do live in Berlin)


Oh the tragedy!

4 05 2009

I’ve committed one of modern life’s most troublesome sins:

Crying into my microwaveable lasagna whilst watching Jamie Pugh sing on ‘Britain’s Got Talent’.

The poor guy, never had the courage to stand up and sing in front of anyone before, and then who’d believe what came out! A man singing opera with a Welsh accent really can’t be beat can it?

I think watching ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ is one of the few things I miss about home (that and HMV, and yes, Topshop), see last year’s posts tagged ‘cultural petite mal’ for more. I love the triumphs and tribulations but I equally revel in the mishaps and slip-ups. I indulge in a bit of schadenfreude when it all goes wrong. The only part I find awkward is when parents push on their little darlings, and little darling does not have one ounce of talent. Having said that, any saccharine child act doesn’t really agree with my sensitivities anyway. But that’s just my taste.

So, weeping tears into a mush of bechemel and vegetables, what next? Twirling round the living room clutching a martini glass listening to Neil Young’s “Hurricane”? Reading the end of “Mice and Men”? Putting “Sophie’s Choice” on to play whilst…..alone???

It’s just not my world

1 05 2009

We’re off to a contemporary art exhibition soon.


Jackson’s going as the potato famine and I’m dressing as a full-stop.

Empty as a Pocket

8 01 2009

I have nothing but a cup of hot water to drink right now, I’m like a raggedy poor street urchin. I barely spend any time in my flat so there’s currently nothing in my fridge at the moment, and I’m also feeling kind of funny-looking poor. I could have made coffee but I’ve already had two today, which isn’t really that bad and nothing like the Berlinerisch habit of downing cups of the stuff at every opportunity, but I’m really enjoying my bed these days and don’t want to be kept awake more than is necessary. I love my giant bed, the giant duvet and the giant toy puppy and bunny that provide extra insulation for me in the cold nights. Sometimes I wake up and mistake the rabbit’s giant ears for Peter Gallagher’s eyebrows, but alas the fantasy is short-lived – I am alone. 


The only downside is the lack of curtains; with the snow and ice all I can see is the strange white glow of the night sky poking out above my makeshift cardboard curtains that covers most of the window – kind of eerie. 


I think I’m going to give up on my online ‘friend finding’ foray, I’ve come to the conclusion that only the strangest of society lurk on such sites. That might include me but I like to think I have a genuine reason – new to a city and just looking to meet people. I’m also wondering if writing blogs is just for people with no internal monologue, unless they actually have something to promote or important things to say. Given my readership is currently at 3, that is people I actually communicate directly with, I’m wondering if I’m only writing this to give myself a laugh. 


Anyway, here’s a list of my favourite online encounters so far; in brief and with identifiable details hidden:

The lying sociopath who stood me up twice, luckily it wasn’t to the point of me waiting outside in the cold at the U-bahn, but near enough. 

The guy writing in caps lock who said he had no thumbs.

The guy who wrote to me and said he’d like to ask me some questions. Conversation went as follows:

‘I really like your profile, perhaps I can ask you some questions?’

Me: ok, what would you like to ask me about?

‘What’s your name?’

Me: sILEnt_FaNTAsy (blah). Do you have another question for me?

‘What questions should I ask you?’


???? What? Use your imagination!!


The offer of erotic stories was also interesting, but I declined. I would accept if only that stuffed bunny did miraculously morph into Peter Gallagher. 

The men I have met who look nothing like their photos. Disappointing. 

The multiple wet lettuces who run off to the bus stop as soon as the date’s ended, like little children desperate to get home so Mummy can make their dinner. Weirdly enough these are often the more good looking ones, but they can barely manage a good bye kiss before being freaked out by some hot female contact. 


The guy who asked if I had ‘dots’ on my face. ‘You mean freckles?’, I asked him. ‘No, red ones. Spots’, he answered. NO, I do NOT have spots and you shouldn’t ask someone you barely know that. Jeebers, what happened to trying to make a good impression? 

What about the emails that read: ‘I don’t suppose there’s any chance of an answer?’. What?

Or this one: ‘Hmmmm’. What does hmmm mean, on it’s own? With no beginning, middle or end to the sentence?


And the profiles that answer questions such as ‘what do you think is most important in a relationship?’ with the answer ‘the relationship’; or the question ‘what are you afraid of?’, answer: ‘being afraid’. Surely the whole point is that you try and show your best side to your new, ahem, friend?? Be a bit creative perhaps? Show some initiative? Show you are still…living?


It’s going to hit minus 12 later today. I love snow, in Winter, which is when it should snow. Not like in the UK when it snows in March and April. I’m still getting a slight Fargo feeling every time I put on a giant winter coat to take the rubbish out in the night. The heck ja mean?


Amendment: I wrote this post a couple of days ago, but didn’t publish. But I’d just like to share that on the night of writing this, I walked home late and my nose froze up – on the INSIDE! It’s cold here!

Good shoe, bad shoe, poo shoe

8 11 2008

When examining your date for signs of potential surely there’s only one benchmark against which to judge? This mostly goes for dating guys and it’s as the title suggests: what are they wearing on the feet? Good shoes, bad shoes, poo shoes? 


Poo shoes are not as defined here by Urban Dictionary but a reference to really, really bad shoes. Often brown in colour, boring, square, with thin laces, sometimes approximating a football shoe or hiking boot, or alternatively entirely flat, no laces and slip on – an even greater atrocity. They are the most boring men’s shoes you can imagine.


So what’s the connection to today’s blog? Today is all about internet dating. I love the net, because I work from home, no colleagues, no boss (except at the end of an email connection), one flatmate and three dogs for distraction, when an email pings up it’s like someone threw a Golden Egg through the window – every time. In fact I am feeling extremely ansty right now as I am waiting for an email and nothing is pinging. No ping of love for me.  I love getting emails, and I reply almost instantly. I read blogs constantly, I refresh the news websites maybe every half hour. Since maybe, oh, the last 5 years when the internet got really important, like almost for survival, my productivity has dropped. I got so much work done in the summer when there was no connection in the flat and then broadband was delivered, as if in a stork’s basket, accompanied by the sound of lyres and heraldic trumpets. Now I can just about manage to eek out a few paragraphs of work a day but at least I can share tidbits of pop cultue references and quote the daily exchange rate for, ohh, five currencies.


So what do you do if most of your friends are stuck behind the company firewall that blocks personal emails, messenger, ICQ, other time wasting avenues? Join up for some ‘friendship’ sites (ahem)! I love these! I love the pings of love I get each time, the standardized flirt messages you can send – ‘I need therapy, what about you?’ or ‘Why are all the losers online right now?’ or ‘I have no social functioning’. Well, maybe not those words exactly but those are the stereotypes that exist, right? 


So in the interest of social research, adding some excitement back into my life and receiving flirt contacts from people in Brazil (how? and why me?), I am throwing myself whole heartily into ‘friendship’ sites. And I have learnt a lot, oh how I have a learnt a lot! But now I present to you the definitive guide of what not to include in your profile picture if you want to secure that life-changing friendship. Thanks Beau Travail for your help in this, it was collaborative so I give credit! 


  1. Check the front page of ‘The Daily Mail’ or any another British tabloid press. If your picture resembles anything like the mug adorning the front page, get a new photo. You don’t want to look like an escaped convict.
  2. Posing is bad. Do none of these in your picture: grill yourself under the sun wearing Speedo trunks, pose half naked showing off your scrawny body with photoshopped six-pack, pose half naked whilst holding a champagne bottle over your nether regions. Pose doing a ‘Fonz’ thumbs up, or pointing at the camera and winking, again, no Speedos in any circumstances.
  3. Do not do a ‘Myspace’ photo. You’re grown up and desperate to find someone to spend the rest of your life with rather than be married to your computer. So none of those ‘hold camera above the head, pretend it’s not there, pout up to it, attempt to look sultry’. Mostly found on the girls’ pages, though. Why?
  4. Never, ever show the camera in your photo. All that demonstrates is you don’t have a friend to take your picture, at least learn to use the automatic mode.
  5. Make sure the picture is recent. What a surprise for  your new ‘friend’ when you turn up and you’ve prematurely aged 5 years. It’s disappointing.
  6. Sepia tinted is just bad. Full Stop.
  7. Do not take your picture using the internal camera in your computer. You’ll have to look down to the camera at approximately an angle of 35 degrees, giving your eyes a hooded appearance resembling tabloid front page evilness.
  8. No Speedos!
  9. Show your face at least. Don’t take a long distance shot of yourself facing away from the camera.
  10. And don’t leave the picture field blank. We’re all here to check out the hotties, no matter what else we pretend. Like the old private Myspace albums, it’s just no fun if you VIP your photos. 
  11. Don’t use a crumpled up magazine photograph that you’ve scannend in. The crumpled up scuff marks on the edge give it away.
  12. Don’t use a picture of a celebrity. Someone, somewhere does know who Corey Haim is, and they will recognize such a sham.
  13. Ok, you like sports and traveling but don’t leave a picture showing off just how sweaty you got when you cycled up Table Mountain.
  14. One for the ladies in particular – for the love of all things holy, use some hot oil on your hair!
  15. Don’t use your picture from your company profile. BORING. Show your personality at least. 
  16. There’s a park in Bergen, Norway with some statues of rubenesque ladies. Don’t go to such a park and pose, pretending to slap some stone lady ass. That’s not cool. I mean, it might be in the bedroom a few weeks into the relationship, but for a first impression???
  17. If you can have more than one photo up, don’t take a picture in ten different ways. Me looking straight on, me looking side-ways, me looking up, me looking pouty, me looking stern, me looking crazy… the fact your jumper is the same in each one says either you’re preoccupied with finding your best side or you never wash your clothes. 
  18. Take the red eye OUT! Red eye is so unflattering, either photoshop it away or just choose another photo. No one wants to meet the Devil.
  19. No Speedos!
  20. Finally, don’t take a photo of yourself, standing inside some conceptual art installation. Having your head swathed in folds of pink plastic just looks like your head is coming out between a pair of giant vulva. We might want to get to the hanky panky stage later, but first impression? Ewwwwww! 

Still no ping of love for me, I give up. Time to go and do something productive!

Name Confusion!

5 10 2008

Do you have a funny name?
Has your name ever been confused by someone for something so utterly different that you wonder if you just started speaking in Finnish? (unless you are Finnish)

Someone once thought my name was ‘FLARED JEANS‘!!!!!!!!!! A ha, a ha ha haaaaaaaaaaa.

And a one, two, three, four….

4 10 2008

It’s late, there’s a party going on next door. I wrote a song. To the tune of ’99 Red Balloons’.

Neun und neunzig screaming kids
Neighbours playing 80s hits
An infection in my wisdom tooth
Travels down my throat, makes me uncouth.
Friday night, I’m stuck indoors
Trawling the net for paramours
All I find are masochists
“Lick my feet and feel my whip.”

As I type in apathy, three dogs leap all over me
Sitting here in raggy threads
At least it’s a way to earn my bread
But my pants still sag and my hair’s a mess.
The heating’s broken, the pipes are frozen
My fingers blue from no circulation
The shops are shut, I’ve got no food
Dang, the dog’s just gone and pooed.

So here I am with a gammy tooth
Flirting with strangers, not telling the truth
‘Hotel California’ playing next door
I’m getting tired, gonna lie on the floor.
Staring up I see a crack
A very small eye is staring back
I give them the finger, I think they want more
I wonder what the neighbours saw.