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Dancing Moon [userpic]

Mutter Courage & ihre Kinder

May 11th, 2012 (12:34 am)

Been busy, mood also went up and down.

But if you hit Berlin and speak German, I encourage you to see "Mutter Courage und ihre Kinder" in the Berliner Ensemble.

I never thought a play carried, mostly, by a little old lady and an actress playing her mute daughter could become something so powerful. It started out a bit slow, but after 2-3 scenes, Mother Courage's presence filled the stage and I was truly gripped by the play. Really liked the costuming etc choices they'd made for this play!

Originally posted at Dreamwidth.

Dancing Moon [userpic]

crud. evil shoes

April 20th, 2012 (06:35 pm)

Well that was a nasty surprise!

Due to the size of my feet (a 'humongous' EU 42, which is one size bigger than Swedish ladies shoes generally come in), I'm used to only shopping for shoes in the >80 € range. Docs, Ecco and so on, Vagabond sometimes if they're on sale.

This means I've pretty much gotten used to the idea that if I care for my shoes properly, they will last anything from 1-3 years, depending on make and use. Heavy boots and other clunkers can last longer, and party shoes essentially never break because I use them so rarely (and it's often too cold to wear them outside anyway).

Deichmann, which semi-recently opened stores in Stockholm is an exception, since they carry a lot of sizes. But realistically, if I buy 3 shoes for 10 € I won't expect that much from them, and I've found that Deichmann shoes hold up decently for about a season. Fair enough!

But now, I bought myself a pair of ~50 € shoes here (real leather, always), which is still more than I expect to pay for crap. Very comfy, look nice, the type of slim walking shoes that with extremely heavy wear lasts me between 8-14 months of everyday wear, often in rain and slush.

And now, after two weeks and some walking on cobblestones in Paris, the heel is a bit cracked on one of them. Wtf? I realized that they don't have that black, extra rubbery heel covering that I'm used to all my walking shoes having and, wellp, now I know what purpose it serves!

Luckily cobblers are cheap in Berlin, but I think those are the last "budget but not extremely cheap!" everyday shoes I'll buy in my life.

Originally posted at Dreamwidth.

Dancing Moon [userpic]

A minor thought about ice-hockey fandom

April 17th, 2012 (08:50 pm)

Fandom is apparantly discovering ice-hockey recently. Mainly the NHL if I understand correctly.

This is such a weird concept to me. I've been trying to avoid hockey and football for most of my life, and yet, both sports are everywhere. It's literally like trying not to breath, to grow up in a lower-middle class area in Sweden and not get hockey and football shoved into your face at least once every other year.

Trying to watch Sailor Moon sometime in 1995-ish: Every third ep is cancelled/moved due to hockey games and yet you KEEP ON WATCHING because sometimes it comes on after they finish.

Sport staples in school: Indoor bandy, football, "brännboll", swimming and ice-skating. All the guys have hockey skates, some of the girls too, and every one of those people skate much better (and more violently) than I did.
I did use to play a mean game of bandy, though.

Headlines every time a World Cup rolls around: OMG FOOTBALL FOOTBALL FOOTBALL HOCKEY It's a snake, a snaaaake. You kind of have to stop taking public transport, watch TV or read newspapers to avoid

Hearing sudden shrieks of joy/screams of rage from the neighbours: Sweden just scored against Brazil or Finland, lol/lost epically

Hockey. How can you be fannish about ice-hockey? I mean, it's like being fannish about plumbing or something. It just is

Originally posted at Dreamwidth.

Dancing Moon [userpic]

bye, Firefox, let's see what happens now

April 1st, 2012 (10:51 pm)

Firefox has become slower and slower on my computer, so I thought I'd give Google Chrome a chance.

Ugh, have to reinstall extensions and log in everywhere. but at least it doesn't choke on Tumblr within 5 min, go me

Originally posted at Dreamwidth.

Dancing Moon [userpic]

Die Mausefalle [theatre]

March 11th, 2012 (02:04 pm)

Trying to write something. It's not working, so I thought I'd blog.

/procrastination ahoy/

Yesterday I went with a friend to see Die Mausefalle, the Berliner Kriminal Theater version of Agatha Christies über-classic The Mouse Trap. Because I am a Christie n00b and also never remember the plot of crime stories unless I read them like twenty times, I was totally surprised by the ending.

It was fun to go and the theatre was very nice; small intimate room, we sat at the very last row and I still had no problem making out the character's facial expressions. I think it might be some kind of old factory building or something, because there was a lot of naked steel and high roofs in there, which worked very well with the classical red theatre curtain.

The acting wasn't overwhelmingly great but solid enough. Otoh Christie doesn't really write characters as much as types. And it was nice, a cosy evening with a good play and some really funny moments.

Also easy to understand even if your German isn't overwhelmingly good, so it's definitely a theatre I'd recommend to visitors who want to take part of a bit of Berliner culture but aren't certain if they can follow a play. And really, the 19 € places are absolutely spiffy (just don't sit too much in the middle, the pillar will be in the way).

Wouldn't mind going back and seeing perhaps a German crime play, or Arsenic and Old Lace.

Originally posted at Dreamwidth.

Dancing Moon [userpic]

After a week of sloth, I am now doing All The Things

So, after a week of utter bumming around and hardly lifting a finger except when in the pool (yes, I have started to swim a bit again) I decided that my break from the world was over and that I'd better start doing stuff again. Among those stuffs, alas, I count my two 12-page essays.

Still, as Sunday evening rolled around, I realized that I was not going to get any studying done in the remaining hours before next week. No disaster, I did allow myself seven days of leisure... but I also realized that I hadn't left my block during the entire week (and my room only about half the days) and that was a bit embarrassing. So I hauled ass off to Potsdamer Platz and plonked myself into a cinema seat. When in doubt, watch a movie - it's almost Doing Something With Your Life.

Saw 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy'Collapse )

They also showed the trailer for MiB^3. It looks awesome!!!

Monday I finally got around to visit the Berlin Guggenheim. I've been thinking of going there ever since I learned that it was free on Mondays - because I am both a cheapass and utterly ignorant about modern art, so it's not like I expected to get that much out of a visit.

My fail at comprehending very modern artCollapse )

Tuesday was spent writing stuff for work (still no essay, but at least I'm writing something beyond blog posts!) and going on a language tandem with a girl who wants to freshen up her Swedish before she does a project for her Masters. By the by, if someone has a room/bed/sofa to let to a nice student who is going to Stockholm for about 3 weeks in April, do gimme a shout.

Still, I don't want to slack off now that I'm not busy as hell in school. It's my goal to experience as much as possible of Berlin outside of both the university halls and my room. So, step one! Buy a Tip magazine and see what's on offer for the coming two weeks.

It's already paid iteself off, too ^_^ Because tonight they held a open discussion about the human/machine interaction in advanced experimental implants entitled "Werden wir Cyborgs?" (Are we becoming cyborgs?) at the Max Planck Science Gallery.

Since the two debate guests were an engineer working in brain-research and a philosopher/biologist working in ethics and medicine history, I figured I would probably not grasp every detail but also not be utterly lost.

Really glad I went there, it was very interesting both in what was said and how they had built the discussion. The audience were allowed to pick themes, by choosing among three short movie clips that where shown on a screen (Choose with laser pointers!!1! Empirical evidence I just gathered shows that if you give a bunch of adults, several of whom appear to hold at least doctorates, a laser pointer each they will turn into gleeful kids for the first five minutes). We also decided who was to "get the word" though I think both guests got to talk every time they signaled that they wanted. further questions could be asked either normally or sent in by SMS, which I appreciated very much. Mostly due to the "omfg a bunch of professors so not opening my mouth to speak German in here!!!" factor.

I learned interesting tidbits about the frontline of medical research, that we shall (alas) probably never be able to download an entire foreign language into the brain and heard many other interesting things. Some of it tied back quite nicely into the Body/Machine seminar I've had.

Then I got to visit the showroom of the Max Planck Institute and OMFG! SO COOL! Touch screens that wouldn't look amiss in the latest Star Trek movie, some kind of curved screen thing where it looks as if a molecule is hovering, amazingly beatiful photographs of cells and molecules in a room that I could best describe as iArchitecture. I'm going back during daytime to have a closer look, felt a bit tired right now. But that was seriously a room from the future, looking even better since it was in a classical old building by the Gendarmenmarkt.

How I love this city!

Originally posted at Dreamwidth.

Dancing Moon [userpic]

[One Piece] Re-read part two: Little Garden - Drum Island

February 24th, 2012 (12:39 pm)

How do you like my new (DW) icon? ^^

- Sanji comes off really well in the Little Garden arc. Zoro comes off as out of his freakin' mind, but what else is new... Usopp! Usopp is so adorable here ^______^ He's met his idols and I think he really learns something from them. I know many Usopp-fans think he's got among the best character developments of the entire gang, and in many ways they are right. Because Usopp's dream isn't to become the best of anything, just to become Good and dare to follow his dreams, his process of maturing is more realistic. I mean, for being One Piece...

- As we leave Little Garden, Zoro is grumbling about his lack of strenght. This is important I think (not only for the must-cut-iron foreshadowing), because it's the start of his dissatisfaction with himself imo. I mean, I know he got his ass kicked by Mihawk, but even Zoro seems to admit that Mihawk is truly beyond him. He wants to catch up, but he's not feeling that he himself is a failure by losing to the worlds strongest man, so to speak. However, he promised Luffy he wouldn't lose again - in Zoro's eyes, I think that while it is marginally acceptable to lose (temporarily) to the Best Guy Ever, anything more means he has completely and utterly failed. Mr. 3 could catch him and he became helpless; even if Mr. 3 doesn't fight with swords, that's too much of a weakness for Zoro.
He's seeing the world and realizing what the scale of strenght really is in the Grand Line, but for now, his only way to tackle this is by a rather negative way of thinking. "I'm bad, gotta become stronger for strenghts own sake".

- Hmm, idk, but if anyone can become ill from the variable weather on the Grand Line, "even the strongest warrior", how come it's never been a question before or after Nami's illness? Hmpf. Glad that Vivi notices her amazing navigational skills, though! The other Strawhats are all too clueless for this, so it's good that someone can see such things only not when they're the Golden Lion Shiki

- Okay, Zoro as a lookout I can buy you gotta use him for something after all but asking him to keep an eye on the Log Pose? Nami met him and Luffy way back in East Blue, she has to know what a pair of idiots they are.

- I completely forgot who Wapol was. He showed up halfway recently in a cover story, and I had to go look him up on the Wiki. Too durned many characters, One Piece, too many by half.

- I love the bit where all the Strawhats are sleeping on the floor in ill!Nami's room. Aw so sweet ^^ And then we get another extremely cute scene with Luffy and Zoro keeping watch of Nami and Luffy's sooooo excited about the new island but can't abandon nakama omg island~

- Vivi teaches the Strawhats and Luffy, that sometime you can't fight your way through things. It's an interesting scene, because it's rare that any of them do a formal bow (especially for Luffy), but it happens once or twice in important scenes later on too. Vivi leaves her mark on the Strawhats and they remember what she's shown them about leading.

- Ah, Zoro's scarred feet. You know, I always figured that his scars were due to "rule of cool", but it actually seems as if there is a consistant logic to them. The big wound on his chest was first sewn up by Usopp and Johnny, then torn open by Arlong. The doctor in Nami's village even has a freakout at how badly it's been grafted together. The scars on Zoro's foot look as if he's sealed them himself, perhaps with some help from Usopp and Sanji (or whomever). We just got shown that the only one with even the vaguest sense of medical skills is Nami, so no wonder they get the snazzy Frankenstein's seam look. Same with the timeskip scar - Zoro was away from Chopper and I would guess neither of the people who were there with him had any major skills in how to treat wounds.

- This is getting really long & I gotta do other stuff today (why?). But I'll finish with saying that Dr. Kureha is totally cool. Belly-button pierced old ladies, rock on!

Originally posted at Dreamwidth.

Dancing Moon [userpic]

Interesting comparsions: Royals and Presidents

In Germany, they're in the process of switching out the federal president, after the old one got caught in a severe scandal. There was a lot of media hounding but, from what I've heard from sensible people, also very reasonable complaints against him and illegal stuff and whatnot. Election for the next president is coming up, though from what I can understand, the presented candidate is a pretty sure win. Okay.

In Sweden, the crown princess just had a daughter. I don't care all that much, although of course it's nice for them (and, heh, part of me went 'yes a girl, good!'). But it also brings up the obvious discussing of whether we want to keep a monarchy or not.

Now, on one hand, I do feel that all humans should be born equal and that it's quite odd how the court doesn't have to tell anyone where all the money they get goes to; I don't insist on knowing anybodys pocket money, but if they really use most of the sum for upkeep of historical castles and parks, why not show that? Everybody else who is statefunded or pays taxes has to do that. Certainly people who get social security money need to show proof for just about every little expense, so, uh, why not the people who get the biggest "social security" payment of them all?

But, tangent. I still don't neccessarily feel that we need to get rid of the court, because we'll still have to pay someone to do the ceremonial greetings and stuff. And, looking at the German situation, even picking an older person with experience is apparantly totally not a guarantee against them doing stupid shit.

But it was very funny when the announcement came out. I was sitting in a café with some German people from my project seminar, when someone checked their smartphone. Twitter was talking about the (then) very receant reveal that the president would resign and they all broke out in spontaneous cheers :)

One of the best things at the Humboldt university, is how many people seem to actually care about politics, in multiple ways.

In completely unrelated news, I've got a couple of new icons. That pic of Zoro? Might as well have been me this week
/was sinfully lazy and enjoyed it so

Originally posted at Dreamwidth.

Dancing Moon [userpic]

[One Piece] Re-read & Movie 5

February 19th, 2012 (03:34 pm)

Watched the fifth One Piece movie, The Curse Of The Sacred Sword, because it was about a cursed sword and Zoro.

Not really worth all the effort I had to go through to download the darned thing. For one, the animation is pretty bad, the female lead is such a wishy-washy meh character and the plot is full of characterization errors.

Review, relatively spoiler freeCollapse )

But I've also been re-reading the One Piece manga! And that gave a lot more ^_^

DM's unorganized One Piece re-read: From the beginning towards Little Garden
I have a feeling that I need to "clean up" my impressions of One Piece as compared to all the fanon one gets clogged down with, so I thought I'd go back to the beginning and see what happens, now that we're entering the New World. Also, school holidays and it's bloody hard to download anime here, why not re-read One Piece?

- Zoro and Luffy express an interest in fishing between Whiskey Peak and Little Garden. They're still wildly enthusiastic about this hobby two in-series years and half a world later. I go "awww".

- I remember that I found Usopp's introduction, and the Black Cat pirates pretty boring. I like Usopp better this time round, but the fights d-r-a-g. Might be because only the Captain is there for a reason, and that reason is that he's giving up on the pirate dream. Heck, cowardly and greedy old Buggy has more dreams than that! Compared to the fights against Don Krieg (which, admittedly, I skipped some pages of) and Arlong, there's also far too much effort spent on quirky mini-bosses who don't really interest me and don't even fight in a fun way.

- Sanji and Zoro don't really argue at first, until Zoro "insults" Nami. And in the manga at least, they're not even fighting that much at the beginning of the Grand Line. I get the image they don't interact all that much yet - whiich changes pretty rapidly once Zoro drops a line about being a better hunter than Sanji. Poof, rivalry is born.

It's quite interesting to see this too, because it's such a thing (especially in fandom) that you kind of don't remember how it started or who does what, only that it exists. Both cases seem to be a bit of Zoro being thoughtlessly rude (he ttly is, loads of time. Mostly at the start/end of fights, but in general as well), Sanji taking offence, then it leads to aimed insults. After a while, they're both much more quick to take offence but here at the start, the fights are clearly escalating step-by-step.

- I forgot how cool a character design Bellemere had *starry eyed gaze at ex-soldier punk mom* Also, Nami's background is so sad ;_____;

- A lot of Luffy's silent rages, "weird instincts" and so on that we see here (and which sometimes confused people, including me, since he was so silly otherwise) make oodles of sense once you have the childhood flashback backstory.

- "A hero only dies once, a coward dies a thousand times". Or he overcomes his fears ten thousand times...
I had completely forgotten Usopp's stand against the kissy-faced fishman in the Arlong arc, but it's actually a really nice scene, despite a pretty boring enemy. Usopp wavers back and forth a lot, but when it matters, he's there for his friends. This is the first times Usopp goes back to take it up with a scary opponent solely for the sake of the crew. Well done!

Then a bit of opinon.
I've seen, on TVtropes and elsewhere, that people claim that Zoro gets more grumpy as the series processes. True, he's openly laughing more often back in East Blue, in the very first chapters, but that seems to cut down already by Usopp's island and almost feels like Oda getting a handle on his characterization.

There's also a distinct lessening of freak-outs, from Zoro but I think Sanji too. When they try to enter the Grand Line, everyone goes completely OMGHOHSHIT!!! with huge cartoony eyes and whatnot. There are still such moments later, but Zoro rarely participates (Robin, never). And Sanji, while more easily flustered, doesn't end up in the same amount of panic over unforseen wheather and weirdness either.

Part of it is simply that they've gotten used to weird stuff, but part of it is also how they react in crowds, I think. Will keep an eye on this later.

But, my point was mostly, is that it's not true that Zoro's lack of happy faces directly connects to his defeat at the hands of Mihawk. As I said, he's doing the whole open-mouthed laugh a lot less once they've picked up Usopp already.
In Logue Town, he's getting a new cursed katana = Happy Zoro (they're all really happy in this town, aw so cute~). And then there's the Whiskey Peak fight, where he's clearly internally doing the manly version of "squee! fighting mooks with my new swords! yay fun!"
In retrospect, I really like this scene because it shows how much Zoro enjoys swordfighting. The Strawhats are usually up against such odds that it's hard to judge how much they enjoy their various martial styles, but here, it's obvious that Zoro really likes it. It's like when Sanji gets to cook that elephant tuna shortly before, he's in his element and he's apparantly having fun with this new, interesting thing :)

My theory is that Zoro's gotten more mellow after the timeskip, more balanced, although he's if anything even ruder and rougher... but I really can't remember all of this massive amount of canon to judge that, nor can I really remember how Usopp developes through the series (which are basically the two things I'm most curious about), so, back to the basics it is!

I also want to see all the leads and little details that Oda drew some eight years ago (there's a mention in something like book ten, omfg, about how One Piece has been going for two years. Ancient History, dude), which leads to my next point...

OMG! Such an early mention of Jimbei and Fishman Island! And it's Zoro's bounty-hunter pal who knows something about it!! Hm, Mihawk's words about Zoro being almost frighteningly ignorant about the big world make a lot of sense. Luffy at least seems to have made a consciouss choice in this direction: he doesn't give a damn. Zoro is just clueless.

Hacchan also talks about being the second-strongest Fishman swordsman and, indeed, that was picked up recently. Heh, you can really see how the plot has expanding on Oda while writing. The beginning of One Piece ties to tightly to the 'geographical middle' of things, which we've just left, where a lot of slightly later stuff feels much more side-questy.
I knew there would be parallels between the East Blue beginning and the "second Romance Dawn", but I had no idea there would be THIS many.

It also explains a lot of things about Arlong. Cut for Fishman Island spoilersCollapse )

- Whoa, Luffy, you broke the mast off Merry to deal with Laboon? No wonder the poor thing is in such a bad shape if that's how you handle her... No, but it becomes sadly clear very early on that poor little Merry isn't made to handle the Grand Line. (Never have I felt so much for an inanimate vehicle ;_; Oda you bastard)

- I totally forgot that Mihawk and Shanks have had some kind of alteration in the past. Huh, wonder what that's about! Actually, with this and the later big fight and the whole training thing, Mihawk is totally acting like a (semi-willing) mentor to the Strawhats. It makes me curious about his motivations, because this really goes against his Icy Cool I Don't Give A Damn persona.

Originally posted at Dreamwidth.

Dancing Moon [userpic]

(no subject)

February 18th, 2012 (04:58 pm)

Today I did nothing, except change a hard-to-read lightbulb. It was epically wonderful.

/reads One Piece and eats yoghurt/


Originally posted at Dreamwidth.

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