Thursday, October 08, 2009

Jewish humour

As part of my predilection for American Jews and jewish humour, I have decided to create a glossary of Yiddish terminology to make life a little easier, and to aid in my research into the phenomenon of Shix appeal as evidenced by Elaine's experiences with the Rabbi in Seinfeld?

Of course, moving to Munich was probably not the best bet for finding a hot Jewish husband (hanging around outside Dachau or the Holocaust museum is probably not the best place to pick up) but hey, there you go. Incidentally, my name does mean "perfect" in Hebrew, so this is probably a good place to start for the glossary.

Chutzpah: audacity
Meshugenah: crazy person
Mishugas: nonesense
Kosher: on the level, legitimate
Mazltov: good luck
Schmuck: idiot, fool

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Late Show with Letterman

This is the second time that David Letterman has been faced with extortion. The first instance was in 2005 when his house painter was charged with plotting to kidnap his son. This time around, Letterman was blackmailed by a CBS producer who demanded a cool 2 million in exchange for keeping quiet about Letterman's previous dalliances with staff on The Late Show . How pathetic! How this guy ever landed a job at CBS, I'll never know. Thanks to a successful Sting operation he has now been arrested, and will hopefully never set foot within a 20 mile radius of the CBS studios again.

For all the money that they earn, household names like Letterman and TV news anchors like Jill Dando never get the level of protection they need, and are the recipients of frequent death threats and blackmail. The whole industry must be totally screwed up if self-righteous Hollywood movie stars can rally around to protect monsters like Polanski and his 'lifetime achievements', while other, innocent entertainers are left completely vulnerable to people machinating against them - both outside and inside the industry.

Letterman Blackmail


A self-confessed chocoholic, it took me about a week to consume Chocolate Girls after my Mum had recommended it. A very sweet piece of chick-lit set in wartime Birmingham, about the lives of three women who work at the Bournville chocolate factory.

The story resonated with me because I could recall childhood trips to the Cadbury factory, but it was really the subplot about David; an exiled German Jew who was found as a child and adopted by one of the women, that was the most arresting part of the story. The descriptions of the burnt out synagogue in Berlin, and the family's house in Charlottenburg set memories flooding back to me. David is estranged from his Jewish heritage, and makes Aliyah back to Israel to reunite with his father, who suffered in a concentration camp under the Nazi regime.

I sometimes wonder what it would be like to reconnect with my own family, the missing half of my own identity - out of Africa, in Australia, and coldest Scotland. The voices and faces which keep people asking questions "your accent sounds American/Australian/kind of lazy/very English" or to comment "you don't look at all like your mother" and "that's an unusual name, what's the story". Sometimes, it is hard to forge a coherent identity and easier to lie to people about my origin than to admit the fuzziness, the lack that faces me in the mirror. Ultimately though, I decided to create my self through the life I choose to lead, and my identity is not stamped upon me according to the experiences of my family. Maybe this is true for everyone?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Cutest Youtube comment ever?

To Crosby, Stills and Nash Love the one you're with:-

onetwofeet (4 days ago)

"This reminds me of riding on the school bus in 1969, 1970 from Encinitas, (Moonlight Beach) to San Luis Rey Girls Academy. Mom would drop me off at a gas station corner and I'd sit there on the bench sneaking a cigarette and waiting for the bus. (the cigarette machine inside the gas station sold marlboros for 75cents, which was highway robbery, but at 16 years old, that was my only resource. ((i've been smoke free for 2 years tomorrow)) thanks for the video."


Oh, what a lovely Saturday morning in Studentedstadt!
Waking up to Angelique Beauvance's gorgeous rendition of My Funny Valentine, followed by a Pilates ball and trampoline workout. How much does this weekend rock?
Yes, I'm spoiled here and Munich's Studenstadt is lovely - as vibrant as Berlin's Sunflower Hostel, with added amenities such as a Getränkemarkt, local club "The Orangery", coffee shop and student bar. I'm staying in the apartment of Little Miss help save the starving children in Nambia for just a couple of weeks, and all these books on Postmodernism and Cultural Identities, in conjunction with an abundance of organic Yogi Tee are really getting me back into the student mindset. I'm itching to get stuck into my PhD.
Meanwhile, it's back onto the trampoline for a few more bounces: let's just hope this Saturday doesn't have a Homer Simpson's funpark disaster-style ending, it is looking just about perfect.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Oktoberfest 2009: Dirndln und Lederhosen

Yesterday was the first official day of Oktoberfest, and Munich is already swarming with tourists in brightly coloured cute, kitschy dirndln and those rather fetching, if a little sweaty looking lederhosen. Bavarians, I have been assured, actually do still wear this traditional garb on special occasions but nowadays, if you see a group of hot men in flowered, knee length brown leather pants and white woolen socks pulled up to their calves, they are most likely to be speaking in an American accent. The dirndl is a firm favourite amongst women, as it is wonderfully feminine and has the magical ability of making the most humbly endowed of women appear like a Russ Meyer heroine! Wunderbar!

Although I love the beautiful, princess-like, golden Dirndl that Paris Hilton wore to the Oktoberfest a couple of years ago, nothing beats the more traditional Bavarian styles in bright reds, pinks and purples for the festival season. The best thing about the Dirndl is, of course, that you can drink as much beer at Oktoberfest as you like without a hint of a tummy bulge!

Paris Hilton photo:

Photo right courtesy of:

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Wo is Magdeburg?

I've just spent the past week shuffling a ridiculously heavy suitcase between a youth hostel and a hotel in Magdeburg on my first teaching mission. What a bizarre and exhausting experience! After having a terrible time with a bunch of low level learners, I was then transferred to an intensive advanced business English programme during which I worked relatively long hours for the rest of the week with three very laddy lads who were employed in selling network communications products for an international company. They were really sweet and lively so my job was incredibly easy as they mainly wanted to make dirty jokes which were usually pretty unavoidable if I followed the teaching manual - HUMIDITY "Ask them where is sticky, warm and wet." being a case in point.
It's wonderful to be back at home again now. I love Berlin.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Do you have a father?

We had our Demo lessons today and, well let's just say mine didn't go exactly the way I'd planned it, but I seem to have a good few hours TP next week which is great because I'm rapidly running out of money, and I had thought that I might have to fly home and move back to the Ford. Which would have been awful. I also finally have a bank account here now so charges should be a little more reasonable. head is killing me - either the result of cheap champagne after the training at 4.30 or the dirty Caipirhinia at 5.00. Ouch!