German Music: Gloria

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Perhaps you know him as the German television moderator that went to Japan and voluntarily had a solution injected into his forehead so that he had a protrusion that resembled a doughnut. Or maybe you’re familiar with him doing a stunt that saw him hanging off the side of a mountain, crying in fear. Or perhaps you know Klaas Heufer-Umlauf as one half of the duo Joko & Klaas, whose television shows — including the most recent shows: Circus Halligalli, Duel um die Welt — are a mix of Jackass style stunts of stupidity and, in the case of Circus Halligalli, the leading show for celebrities to be interviewed and promote their projects to a younger audience. (Ever Peer Steinbrück tried promoting himself there prior to the German election in 2013; clearly it didn’t pay dividends for him.)

But man can not live by stupid stunts alone. He needs nourishment for the soul and artistic satisfaction. That’s where Gloria, the German language indie rock band featuring Heufer-Umlauf and Wir Sind Helden member Mark Tavassol, comes into view.
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German Films: Ulrich Tukur

ulrich tukur

There are certain actors that have respect. They have consistently put forth good acting in good films. You can trust them and they’ve gained your respect. You know that if they’re in a movie, it’s highly likely it’s a decent film that is worth seeing. For me, Ulrich Tukur is one of those actors who has gained my respect. Apparently he can do it all, including singing and tickling the ivories in his band, Ulrich Tukur & Die Rhythmus Boys. But let’s focus on three of his films that are must see movies that will also let you get some practice with your German: The Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen), The White Ribbon (Das weiße Band, Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte), and John Rabe.
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Garage Demolition Begins: So Long, Old Friend

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Today is a big day. When we bought our home, nearly seven years ago, we knew the garage would need replacing. (Quite frankly, everything needed replacing…) It was essentially a carport. And not a very nice one, at that. It was a regular hang out for random cats and other outdoor animals. They left countless paw prints down the windshield of my car.

The doors didn’t offer any confidence that if they were taken down that they’d go back up. In fact, recently, when a door was taken down, it not only wouldn’t go back up but the hardware started to bend and break off the walls. The door had to be sawed apart, like Dutch doors, in order to retrieve the contents of the bay.

But now the day has come. Today, the garage is starting demolition. Within the next couple of months we will have a new, prefabricated garage in its spot. A bigger, better garage that can serve as a work shop where guitar pedals can be built instead of in the dining room.

Today’s the day. So: so long, Garage. Please, don’t think of the new, shiny garage with a solid, level foundation and no cracking cinder block walls that will be replacing you. We had a nice time together, but now it’s time to part. Finally, we’re able to check another item off the lengthy list of things at our home in need of renovation.
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Must See List: Rhododendron-Park Bremen

Rhododendron-Park in Bremen, Germany

As I was reading the news online the other week, a story caught my eye. Apparently there is a forest overlooking the Bay Lough in Ireland’s Knockmealdowns Mountains that has rhododendrons growing so densely on it that a couple got lost and had to be rescued. The BBC reports that the rescue operation took five hours! If you’re looking for a place to visit and enjoy some rhododendrons without needing emergency supplies and a preplanned evacuation route, you might want to make a visit to Rhododendron-Park Bremen (site in German only) in northwestern Germany. It’s definitely on my must see list.
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Blobfest: The Blob Returns!

Blobfest at the Colonial Theatre

When I moved to my current home I had no idea about the surrounding area’s dark, dangerous past. It was shocking. I had no idea that this area, this very area around which I now live with my loving husband and our affectionate dog was once a place where people lived in fear of….THE BLOB! Not quite what you were expecting, right? So beloved is the movie monster that the local independent movie theater, The Colonial Theatre, hosts Blobfest, a three day festival, every year since 2000. Sounds fun, right?
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