Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Another Country

Sorry I haven't posted in a while folks, but judging by the dearth of hits on this site, I'm just a tree falling in cyberspace with no-one to hear it. Maybe I should start name-dropping celebrities so people will stumble onto my blog in Google cross-searches. Anyway, this past week has been playing havoc my nerves really. I wasn't sure when my Zwischenvermieter (the guy I'm subletting from) was coming back, and since he showed up one day a few weeks ago unannounced (for Barack Obama), and at that point said he'd return in 2-3 weeks, which had already passed, I thought it best to go ahead and find a place post-haste.

After a couple false starts I received three offers from potential roommates here in Berlin. The first offer came from a professional dirt biker who is famous in his profession here in Europe. He and his motorbike can fly 50 feet in the air at great speeds. The flat was cozy and clean. The second was a great huge airy flat in Kreuzberg, but it turned out to be with a couple -- middle aged theatre fags. Won't live with a couple, been there done that. Does the term "triangulation" mean anything to you people? The third was a rather short term lease (1 month) in a WG with 4 others. I opted for the dirt bike guy (he was sweet, soft-spoken and we got on like a house on fire); he's also nice to look at and that's always a huge plus. Oh, and he's always been flown all over Europe by his sponsors, so he'll only be there half time. So in a few days I'll be moving to deepest Neukoln (immortalized in song by David Bowie). It's interesting neighborhood, not the hippest by any stretch of the imagination. The part I will be living in was formerly known as Rixdorf, originally settled by the Czech, now it's more Turkish. Anyway, it's going to be a deeply urban adventure, like what I'm experiencing now, but different.

That sussed, and since I had completed my job training, it was time to go ahead and take care of my work permit. This is not a user-friendly process, but at least I was familiar with all the steps, the final one being finding the right health insurance, because the Germans require everyone to have it, an admirable goal, but it took almost a week to complete this step, seeing as how most of the websites are all in German and to navigate them is a real chore for someone who doesn't know the business and legal terms of this language. I mean, it's hard enough in the US to find insurance. At any rate, I'm waiting for my verification, then it's off to the Auslanderbehorde once again for more fingernail pulling.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Nur Unterhaltung

Hey folks, just a quick and dirty update from base camp here in Ost Berlin. I've been keeping my days full by searching for an apartment -- my Untervermieter returns in a couple weeks and I need a new place pronto. I've been working on some very special projects as well. I also had a birthday and went to see Barack Obama. If he wins, the speech will be considered historic, if not, just kinda sad. Still, you have to admire the guy's cheek (and I do, quite frequently). At least he didn't refer to himself as a jelly doughnut, a la JFK. Ubrigens, for a chain smoker, his teeth are flawless. Do you think he has veneers?

Anyway, between apartment searches I'd been squirrelling around Youtube, and stumbled on some very special three-minute masterpieces, which always keep me inspired. First up, we have Roisin Murphy, who is virtually unheard of in the US. The Irish star is huge in Germany, and you can't sally out to a cafe without hearing one of her quirky Liede (songs). Check out all of her videos, in her old band Moloko too, she's a major goddess. Seeing this video was like a wet dream for me, since it's a tribute to John Waters, "recontextualizing" scenes from both Female Trouble and Multiple Maniacs, with a soupcon of 28 Days Later thrown in for texture. We have appearances from Dawn Davenport, Taffy, and with Roisin standing in for Divine as she is raped by Lobstora, the 50-foot lobster! Suffice to say I was gobsmacked by this amazing tribute. Uncensored and as yet unreleased!

I recenty felt like Tracey Ullman's character Sylvia Stickles in A Dirty Shame, one of Waters's later films. In that epic, Stickles is struck on the head with a blunt object, which causes her to become a sex addict. Well, I had an Unfall on my bicycle the other day -- only I actually smashed my Pecker against the bicycle seat when I hit something and was violently thrown forward. Everything seems OK down there, but ever since then I have been in an advanced stage of erotomania. And this video isn't exactly helping....