Friday, April 29, 2005


Yesterday evening, my brother called to ask if I could spare tomorrow to help him plant gherkins on his farm. Unfortunately I can't, because this Saturday will be devoted to vocation - not mine, though.

Early morning (10:30 is early on a Saturday) it starts with wine - that is, whether wine is much more than a job. I could grab a couple of tickets for a free preview of Mondovino. This French documentary by Jonathan Nossiter is supposed to be an entertaining examination of the impact of globalization upon the international wine industry. The critics are not totally enthusiastic but
  • I'm interested,
  • Tigresa will be at my side,
  • it's free &
  • with an apéritif afterwards.
After that, I've to rush to Kiesen Castle between Bern and Thun. The new book Work with Wood about the art of sculptor Urs Twellmann will be presented to the public. It also an occasion to meet friends, with whom I've travelled in Siberia. On one of those trips to Oymyakon, Urs Twellmann was our expedition artist. These is one of the pictures he took:


Le Mot du Jour is minutia or as Jerry Seinfeld has said:
I am so busy doing nothing... that the idea of doing anything -- which as you know, always leads to something -- cuts into the nothing and then forces me to have to drop everything.
Surprisingly, I did achieve some small things this week, both at home and at work. But I reckon that in hindsight, they will be nothing but minutia. However, maybe I just don't honor the work of labor anymore (at the eve of Labour Day!), which leads me to another question: Is it unethical to read Max Weber's Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism at work?

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Obey The Trend

My beloved flatmate just turned 25 and she refuses to obey the trend.

Michèle Roten, a journalist highly esteemed by Tigresa, declared breeding, producing offspring, giving birth, or hatching (I reckon, you get the picture) THE trend of the twenty-somethings. Despite this clear sign, she still refuses to produce one of this must have accessories called child.

I will forgive her (at least this time), because she just said that if I would be a horse, I would be of noble breed (long eyelashes!).

Fantastic Man

FANTASTIC MAN is the spanking new gentlemens style journal from the editors of BUTT. According to this new bi-annual fashion magazine life begins at 30. Targeted at a more mature group of readers, FM's aim is to re-invent the 'gentleman's style journal'. The magazine contains, as the name implies, interviews and fashion features with inspiring men and interesting personalities. It features men in clothes rather than models in fashion. Check out the website for a preview.

By the way, BUTT is looking for a boring homosexual for a short interview about the most mundane things. If you consider yourself a quite boring person, send an email:

MAQ: Muckraking Compromat

I've found new items on My Amaranthine Quest (MAQ) to improve my vocabulary useful for exposing scandals and failures:

Compromat is an abbreviation of the Russian words for compromising material.

Compromat is essential for muckraking, which is searching for and exposing misconduct in public life. President Theodore Roosevelt coined the term muckraker during a speech in 1906 when he criticized the writings of some journalists as being excessive and irresponsible. He disliked the attitude and lack of optimism of muckraking's practitioners. In his speech, Roosevelt likened the muckrakers to the Man with the Muckrake character in John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress (1678):
A man who could look no way but downward with the muck-rake in his hands, who was offered the celestial crown for his muckrake, but would neither look up nor regard the crown he was offered, but continued to rake the filth of the floor.
His speech nevertheless strongly advocated in favor of the muckrakers:
There are, in the body politic, economic and social, many and grave evils, and there is urgent necessity for the sternest war upon them. There should be relentless exposure of and attack upon every evil man whether politician or business man, every evil practice, whether in politics, in business, or in social life. I hail as a benefactor every writer or speaker, every man who, on the platform, or in book, magazine, or newspaper, with merciless severity makes such attack, provided always that he in his turn remembers that the attack is of use only if it is absolutely truthful.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Happy Birthday Tigresa

On this date, 110 years after Vladimir Lenin, Tigresa was born.

Con tantas ganas de vivir, de amar, de experimentar, de descubrir. Sonriente y a la vez capaz; sin dejar de ser femenina y seductora. Hermosa mujer moderna, porque no compararte con Helena de Troya. Sí, es así, tu eres una "Deidad moderna".

¡Feliz compleaños capullo!

Gatín and I have tried to honor the occasion by assembling 25 wines that match the wide range of Tigresa's personality:
  1. Barolo Parussi 1998, Conterno Fantino
    Dieser eleganter Wein passt zu fein zubereiteten Teigwaren. Trinkreife: 2005-2010
  2. Valpolicella Classico Ripasso 2001, Buglioni
    Samtiger Wein aus dem Veneto passt hervorragend zu Rissotto, aber auch zu Geflügel. Trinkreife 2005-2007
  3. Chianti Classico 2002, Fontodi
    Dieser rustikaler Chianti ist der perfekter Begleiter zu Pizza aber auch zu Tacos. Trinkreife 2005-2008
  4. Roero Arneis Trinità 2003, Az. Agr. Malvirà
    Feiner Sommerwein geeignet zum Apèro, aber auch zu einem pochierten Süsswasserfisch. Trinkreife 2005-2006
  5. Moscato d’Asti Bricco Quaglia 2004/ 75 cl, La Spinetta
    Aromatischer Apero Wein mit einer wundervollen Restsüsse. Ein Frauen-Liebling. Trinkreife 2005-2006.
  6. Soave 2004, La Cappuccina
    Feines blumiges Bouquet, durch seine Finesse nur für Apero geeignet. Trinkreife 2005-2006
  7. Barbera d’Alba San Michele 2003, Malvirà
    Gut balancierter Barbera, der zur mediterranen Küche geeignet ist. Trinkreife 2005-2008
  8. Ercavio Blanco 2004, Mas que Vinos, Castilla VT
    Exotischer Wein mit ausgezeichnetes frisches Bouquet, zum Apero und Meeresfrüchte geeignet.
  9. Quivira Verdejo Blanco 2004, Bodegas Nostrum
    Verführerische Citrus Nase. Dieser Wein passt ausgezeichnet zu grilliertem Meerfisch und zu Langousten. Trinkreife 2005-2007
  10. AN/2 2002, An Negra, Illes Balears
    Betörender Rotwein, der perfekt zu Paella aber auch zu Cabrito passt. Trinkreife 2005-2010
  11. Riesling Seeberg 2003, Fred Loimer
    Aromatischer fruchtiger Riesling, passt zu einem Egli + Forelle Meunière. Trinkreife 2005-2008
  12. Grüner Veltliner Käferberg 2003, Fred Loimer
    Schöner Säure betonter Wein. Passt zu geräuchertem Lachs + Forelle. Trinkreife 2005-2006
  13. Eiswein Welschriesling 2003/37,5 cl, Hans Tschida-Angerhof
    Süsse Verführung. Passt zu Rübli + Nuss Kuchen (nicht zu Süsse Desserts). Trinkreife 2005-2012
  14. Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2001, Anura
    Komplexer Cabernet mit angenehmen Holzaromen, passt zu gebratenes Steaks mit schweren Sauce. Trinkreife 2005-2010
  15. Chenin Blanc 2003, Anura
    Diskretes, feines blumiges Bouquet. Perfekter Sommerwein für zwischendurch. Trinkreife 2005-2006
  16. Chenin Blanc 2004, Boschendal Wines
    Zeigt auf eine gut gelungene Art den Barrique-Ausbau, schönes diskretes Vanille Aroma. Perfekter Begleiter zu Geflügel, aber auch zu Süsswasser Fische. Trinkreife 2005-2009
  17. Grande Reserve Premium Blend 2000, Boschendal Wines
    Ausgezeichneter Südafrikaner, der die Grösse eines Bordeaux zeigt, mit ein Hauch exotische Düfte in der Nase so wie im Gaumen. Trinkreife 2005-2012
  18. Shiraz, Bin 128, 2000, Penfolds
    Leidenschaftlich, samtig und opulent. Geeignet zu Rind- und Schweinsteaks sowie Lamm. Trinkreife 2005-2010
  19. Cabernet/Shiraz, Bin 389, 2001
    Traumhafter Australier, der Nektar für die Götter ist. Passt zu Lamm, Rindsfilet mit kräftigen Sausen und zu kräftigen Käsesorten. 2007-2015
  20. Basa Blanco Cosecha 2004, Selección Telmo Rodriguez
    Charmant und feingliedriger Spanier. Unbedingt zum Apero im Sommer 2005 geniessen.
  21. Cava Reventós i Blanc Brut Reserva 2000, Josep Maria Reventos i Blanc
    Beeindruckender Cava zu Apero, perfekter Tapas-Begleiter. Trinkreife 2005-2006
  22. Humagne Rouge de Chamoson, J.Disner, 2003
    Schweizer Walliser der 1. Klasse, passt zu Saucisson Vaudois. Trinkreife 2005-2007
  23. Château Poujeaux, Moulis AOC, 1999
    Ein grosser Bordeaux, der durch seine Harmonie in der Nase und Gaumen einem zum Bordeaux Liebhaber macht. Trinkreife 2005-2015
  24. Domaine Maris, Syrah La Touge, 2001
    Eleganter Syrah aus Südfrankreich, der perfekter Begleiter der mediterranen Küche ist. Trinkreife 2005-2009
  25. Champagne Bonnaire, Prestige 1999, Grand Cru - Blanc de Blancs
    Erstklassiger Champagner für grosse Momente. Trinkreife 2005-2015

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Commit Yourself

In Talk Talk's It's my Life, Mark Hollis sings the line I've asked myself how much do you commit yourself. This led to a discussion about relationship and how many things I try to put into my day. At least I could cite a line out of Robert Frost's Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening:
The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.
Yes, I'm aware that sleep deprivation can result in reduced productivity at work, irritability, diminished capacity in driving, less intimacy and a variety of health problems.

Moskow That Does Not Exist

Moscow is one of the busiest construction sides, maybe only beaten by Shanghai. Unfortunately, the mayor Yuri Luzhkov never had the intention to please the architectural critics. Therefore, a lot of historical valuable buildings have been torn down and replaced by constructions of a rather questionable style mixture.

It's far from a relief. However, the web page (Moskow that does not exist) lists the lost.

Birthday Without Points & Stars

The fact that I'm partial to epicurean repasts does not imply that I'm willing to pay any price for a mouthful. Especially, when it's kind of compulsory and the chef waves with 1 Michelin star and 16 Gault Millau points.

I've been invited to a birthday party of a good friend to such a restaurant by SMS.

If people want to show off with parties at fancy places they should at least...
  • for it (the SMS listed the own wallet as a to bring item). I don't mind going to a party where some cans of beer and a pot of spaghetti are offered to the guest. I don't need langoustes and foit gras to congratulate to someone's birthday and meet some nice people. A birthday party is the wrong place for a Dutch treat.
  • ...put some effort, class and style into the invitation. An invitation to such an event asks for handmade paper, fountain pen writing and witty phrases.
My reply was rather brief and blunt, nevertheless, appropriate to the invitation.

Monday, April 18, 2005

I Want My Bento Too!

Japan is in trouble again because of their ignominious past. It might not be appropriate to speculate how the world would be when Japan had succeeded with their imperial war of aggression. History is written by the victors. However, I reckon the world would be better-off in respect to single-portion takeout meals. For sure, America's hegemony did no good to public health (read Fast Food Nation for the details).

Why does it come that I praise Japan's takeout meal Bento? Last Saturday's issue of NZZ run a feature about Bento by Christoph Neidhart. I read everything by Neidhart I can get hold of, whether I'm interested in the topic or not. He's the best journalist I know besides of Ryszard Kapuściński.

A traditional Bento consists of rice, fish or meat and one or more pickled or cooked vegetables as a side dish. Containers range from disposable mass produced to hand crafted lacquerware. Bento are readily available at convenience stores and Bento shops throughout Japan.

A Bento is traditionally made in a 4:3:2:1 ratio:
  • 4 parts of rice,
  • 3 parts of the main dish, either meat or fish,
  • 2 parts of vegetables, and
  • 1 part of a serving of pickled vegetables or a dessert.
However, basically anything can be used to make a Bento.

Several precautions should be taken when making a Bento. The most important thing is to avoid food poisoning, especially in summer. Foods should be cooked well and the Bento must be stored in a cool, dry location. If sushi is a part of the Bento, it should be prepared with more wasabi than normal. Foods covered with sauce should be carefully packed, or avoided altogether, as sauce may spill over on to the other foods. When cooked rice is a part of a Bento, it should be cooled by leaving the Bento open first. If a Bento is closed before it is sufficiently cooled, the steam from the rice will condense inside the Bento and make the food soggy.

It is still considered an essential skill of a Japanese housewife to be able to prepare an appealing boxed lunch. Her problem is that the perfect Bento cannot be achieved. It's never more than a serious attempt.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Cute but Cruel

This is just another entry in the section of unnecessary knowledge. However, it's also an entry in the cute but cruel section:

The scientific name of the Chinese Painted Quail is excalfactoria chinensis. Excalfactoria means something that heats. The tiny little bird got this name because the Chinese used to put this quail into their pockets to warm their hands.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Seasoned Balcony

One of the best things one can do on a sunny Spring Saturday morning - besides of the obvious and naughty ones - is to go to the market. Strolling between the stalls is retail therapy at its best. Now, even Jamie can be envious of Gomad Mansion's balcony. There are seven spanking new pots containing:
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Chives
  • Sage
  • English peppermint
  • Moroccan peppermint
  • Lemon balm.

Hour of Tolerance

On April 17, 1905, Tsar Nicholas II promulgated the Edic of Tolerance, which allowed freedom of religion in Russia for a brief period. Reading about this, I realised that the Russians use the same term for sectarian as we do in our Alemannic dialect.

We call it Stündeler, the Russians штундист. Both words are originated from the German noun Stunde (hour). This is, because some religious groups have bible lessons, called Bible hour in German. Stündeler is quite derogative, though. Be careful, using it.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Powerful & Full-Bodied Aussies

I have no idea why the forbidden fruit is most likely associated with an apple. Since recently, I know that I must have been the Shiraz grape. Wines made from it are powerfully flavoured and full-bodied. This grape thrives passion.

I've learned this lesson from the wines which arrived yesterday at Gomad Mansion:
We led seduce us right away with a bottle of Bin 128. The Bin 389 is not quite ready. We will have to give it some time in the cellar. Passion should not be wasted too young.


Zürich's wine lovers were happy that the weather was not so good over the last couple of weeks, because we had two wine exhibitions in a row. This can be explained with Shakespeare's Othello, where Iago says: "O! beware, my lord, of jealousy; it is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on."

Zürich's most successful wine exhibition are the wine ships in Autumn. At the end of the shipping season, the tourist ships are moored alongside the jetties. The wine dealers' stalls are on these ships. This show is running since 1953 and the ships are always crowded.

Another exhibitor started with the Wein04 exhibition last Spring, trying to get a share of the cake with an annual exhibition. Of course, the wine ship exhibitor had immediately succumbed to the green-eyed monster and launched his own show called Expovina Primavera this Spring.

The result was that both shows seemed to have had only a mediocre number of visitors. However, due to the less crowded exhibitions, one had not to use the elbows to taste the wines.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

MAQ: Authority Matters

I've found two new authority related items on My Amaranthine Quest (MAQ) to improve my vocabulary:
  • Bustin' Chops
    to "harass by the forcible exertion of one's authority," often by insisting on obedience to pointless rules or orders. Army recruits, for example, assigned by their sergeant to clean their barracks using only toothbrushes, are having their "chops busted." The phrase is of relatively recent origin, first appearing in print only in the 1950's. "Chops" in this case probably harks back to its original 16th century slang meaning of "mouth" or "lips," a "bust in the chops" being the equivalent of a punch in the mouth.
  • Backchatting
    Making snippy replies to someone on a higher authority level (e.g. parents).

Monday, April 11, 2005

Black Teeth Sunday

Last Sunday was devoted to Dionysus. Gatín and I spent eight hours on the Wine05 fair in Zürich tasting wine.

Everything started at noon with a Concert del Vino. A selection of nine top Italian wines were proffered. Australian pianist Peter Waters had selected nine pieces of music, which describe the wines musically. Peter Waters interpreted the selected composition on the piano, while we were tasting the wine accompanied. This tasting cost a worth CHF 150. Thanks to Gatín's excellent connections, we'd got a couple of seats for a smile.

We kept tasting the whole afternoon until our teeth were black. Even with making notes, this was far to hard work for the seventh day. One has to concentrated really hard to not loose track. Despite our hard effort, time run out before we were able to taste any French wines. However, close to the end of the day, we were able to grab some cream of the crop Champagne. It was accompanied with Fossier's delicious Biscuits Roses de Reims.

Although, we had a beer after the fair, I was dreaming of wine and nothing but wine.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Only a Short Relief

Temperatures dropped this week. We'll be close to zero degrees this weekend. Hence, the spring bliss has cooled down as well. However, there are positive aspects. One of which is that the confrontation with the two main Swiss summerly fashion crimes is delayed:
  • Men: short sleeved business shirts with tie.
  • Women: older than and BMI over 21 and still sporting navel free tops and G-strings.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Infected With Noble Rot

Tomorrow will be the birthday of a good friend's girlfriend. She's an energetic, dedicated and charming woman, a wonderful host and has fascinating eyes. One cannot lie to these eyes. It's far from easy to find an appropriate present for a woman with such qualities. Fortunately, she is not averse to epicurean pleasures, thus, Gatín recommended a Sauternes.

Sauternes is delicate sweet white wine from the Bordeaux region of France. It's made from Sauvignon Blanc or Sémillon grapes that have been infected by a beneficial mold called Botrytis Cinerea, which causes the grapes to shrivel, leaving a sugary fruit with concentrated flavors. The desirable form of the grape mold is also known as noble rot. The best Sauternes come from vines that have been hand-picked (as many as 12 separate times) to ensure that the grapes are not removed from the vines before reaching the perfect degree of ripeness required for these wines. Sauternes are most notable as Dessert Wines but, because of their high acidity, they also make excellent partners for rich dishes like Pate, caviar and Foie Gras. Be careful, Sauterne without the ending s usually refers to an inexpensive semisweet California wine.

A bottle of the flagship estate Château d'Yquem would be nice. The prices for one of those can exceed the range of 300-600 Swiss Francs. But, I do not want to show off more than really necessary. In the still excellent but not to show off too much range, Gatín has recommended Château Rieussec or Château Suduiraut. Unfortunately, non of these were on stock in my wine shop of choice (Baur Au Lac). Therefore, I decided to go with a Château Raymond-Lafon, 1999. Neither Gatín nor I have ever tasted this wine, but its reputation is almost flawless:

The Raymond-Lafon vineyard is owned by Pierre Méslier, who had pressed wine for d'Yquem for 29 years. It is made from 80% Sémillon and 20% Sauvignon from grapevines with an average age of 35 years. The vines are picked 3 to 10 times. The wine is ached in oak barrels for three years. It is golden, with an spicy and exotic nose, and a taste of fruits like grapefruit, pineapple, banana, litchi and melons; remarkable fruity and delicate, with already enormous complexity; concentrated sweetness, well balanced with a notable overall acidity.

I reckon, this wine is the perfect match for our birthday girl. However, I hope it will not excel my friend as her perfect match.

Leading Engineers

Sometimes one should not ask the Internet but a senior engineer to find the answers one is seeking for:

The art of planning for the future has always been a human trait. In essence a project can be captured on paper with a few simple elements: a start date, an end date, the tasks that have to be carried out and when they should be finished, and some idea of the resources (people, machines etc) that will be needed during the course of the project.

When the plan starts to involve different things happening at different times, some of which are dependent on each other, plus resources required at different times and in different quantities and perhaps working at different rates, the paper plan could start to cover a vast area and be unreadable.

In the late 1950's, Admiral Raborn of the U.S. Navy needed the Polaris missile program up and flying as quickly as possible due to the perceived threat of a "missile gap" between the U.S. and Russia. Traditional project management wasn't enough to ensure the safety of the nation. The problem was solved with the help of Willard Fazar's PERT (Program Evaluation and Review Technique). PERT became the mandatory requirement of all US Navy projects.

That is the background of the book Project Management by Victor G. Hajek. Thank you, Martin.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Misleading Project Management

I was searching for some background information on a project management book by Victor G. Hajek, which was published in 1965. One of the top listed Google links led me to one of these countless worthless link pages with useless moneymaking link collections. This one was divided into the following section:
  • Project Management
  • Naked Preteen Boys
  • Books
  • Health
  • Movies Free
  • Music
Amazon thought that I might be interested in Jewelry Design and Fabrication Books that Don't Suck; and last and definitely least make the world more user friendly.

Worthless Word For The Day

I've mentioned my struggling with the immense vocabulary of the English language in this hidden corner of the Internet. A pointless but interesting way to extend the personal vocabulary are the various Word For The Day services. I made a small collection of todays choices with no claim to be exhaustive:
  • Worthless Word For The Day
    writhen - being twisted or contorted
    shibboleth - 1. A word or pronunciation that distinguishes a particular class or set of persons from another. 2. A word or saying identified with a group or cause; a slogan; a catchword. 3. A saying or belief identified with a particular group and usually regarded by outsiders as meaningless or untrue. 4. A custom, practice, behavior, etc. regarded as distinctive of a particular group.
  • NSA Word of the Day
    oleander - flowering shrub (with the anagram: reloaned)
  • OneLook® Word of the Day
    basilica - 1. a Roman building used for public administration 2. an early Christian church designed like a Roman basilica; or a Roman Catholic church or cathedral accorded certain privileges.
  • OED Word of the Day
    dunce - A stupid person; a dolt.
  • A.Word.A.Day
    cyclopean - 1. Of or suggestive of Cyclops; one-eyed. 2. Huge. 3. Formed with large, irregular stones closely fitted without the use of mortar.
  • Merriam-Webster's Word of the day
    aborning - while being born or produced
  • Buzz Word's Word of the Day
    carat - a unit of weight for precious gems (as diamonds) equal to 200 milligrams
    boreal - northward, named for Boreas, Greek mythology's god of the north wind
Disclaimer: use of the term worthless should be considered to be either smart aleck or ironic, depending on your level of involvement and sophistication.

Postponed Odyssey

Fischerspooner's new work Odyssey was released yesterday. But there is a limited edition with additional tracks to be release on the 18th. Should I put off the investment in Odyssey?

For all off you who somehow missed the hype, Fischerspooner are both famous and infamous for:
  • the electroclash anthem Emerge
  • giving Kylie's Come Into My World club credibility
  • sharing a performance with Kylie at Top Of The Pops
  • letting collapse the Ministry Of Sound label with a £2m deal that, well, did not emerge.
  • Casey Spooner being Michael Stipe's ex-boyfriend.

At Swim, Two Boys On Stage

Finally, some good news from the UK: My favourite novel At Swim, Two Boys by Jamie O'Neill will find its way onto stage by the end of this months. It seems to be quite an adventurous undertaking. The novel is brought to life by theatre company earthfall, which is known for forging radical choreography with live music and strong visual imagery.

I reckon that will be a spectacle I must see. The performance will be touring the UK and mainland Europe from April 2005. However, so far only dates in UK and Éire are published.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Raising Restlessness

One of my scruples colleagues has had some catalogues about holidays in the Aegean Sea laying around in his office. Careless as I am, I started flicking through them and was caught by a sentimental restlessness. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. However, I just can't concentrate on anything commonly designated by managers as important. These are the two reasons:

Piensa En Mí

Some weeks ago, I wrote about the song Un Año De Amor as it was performed by Luz Casal in Pedro Almodóvar's Tacones lejanos (High Heels). In the meantime, I've patched things up and saw the movie. There is even a song more important than Un Año De Amor in this ardent film - that is, Piensa En Mí by Agustín Lara.

Both Piensa En Mí and Un Año De Amor are extraordinary fervent and were performed passionately. I can't and won't take sides.
Piensa En Mí

Si tienes un hondo penar
Piensa en mí
Si tienes ganas de llorar
Piensa en mí

Ya ves que venero tu imagen divina
Tu párvula boca que siendo tan niña
Me enseñó a pecar

Piensa en mí
Cuando beses
Cuando llores
También piensa en mí

Cuando querias quitarme la vida
No la quiero para nada
Para nada me sirve sin ti

Piensa en mí
Cuando beses
Cuando llores
También piensa en mí

Cuando querias quitarme la vida
No la quiero para nada
Para nada me sirve sin ti

No puedo vivir
Si me faltas tú
No puedo vivir
No puedo vivir
Si me faltas tú
No puedo vivir
Si me faltas tú
No puedo vivir

Think of Me

If you have a deep wave of pain
Think of me
If you feel like you're going to cry
Think of me

You know that I worship your divine image
Your childlike mouth
Taught me to sin

Think of me
When you kiss
And when you cry
Think also of me

If you want
Take my life away from me
I don't want it for anything
It's useless to me
Without you

Monday, April 04, 2005

Is The Sun Rising?

Our department, known for decades as the Rose of Jericho, seems to be considered as the saviour of the company. That is, according to our boss we are to supply the market of the future and will be an important cornerstone of the company's new strategy.

So far, we did hardly exist from the company's point of view. I reckon, the situation is worse than expected.

Packing Note

Yesterday, I caught a slight sun burn on my nose. This always rings the alarm bells. Some years ago, I've received a shot in front the bow - that is, I had to remove a Basalioma from my forehead (scar number three in my face). Basalioma is the most common skin cancer in humans. Luckily, it is rarely life- or limb-threatening.

From now on it's again compulsory for me to have a high protective sun creme in my messenger bag.

Pleasant Anticipation

Some weeks ago, Gatín and I had the pleasure to enjoy one of Christine's dinner invitations. Christine is both a wonderful host and a first-rate cook. Gatín brought along a bottle of Viña Satre Pago de Santa Cruz, Tinto Cosecha, 1998. Bodegas Hnos. Sastre, Ribera del Duero. Obviously, Christine has found the right occasion to open the bottle. We've received the following note:
I think I've never had such a good one in my life!
The Viña Satre Pago de Santa Cruz consists to 100% of Tinto Fino. The vines have an average age of 58 years. The vine had been maturated in American and French barrels for 16 months and its characteristics are amazing: deep purple colour, alluring nose of yellow peaches, cherries, cassis, blackberries; a palate full of spicy-fruity aromas, wholehearted and substantial; soft and skillfully integrated tannins.

Christine's bottle is gone. Lucky me, I still have mine on the shelf and I'm looking forward to the right occasion to come.

Old Mates?

Friedrich Nietzsche must have known my boyfriend Gatín:
"We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh."

Sunday, April 03, 2005

About Choices & Connectedness

It was a lovely Sunday and after the Marathon freaks left the town one could saunter along the banks of the Lake of Zürich. We did this in order to get to the Museum Bellerive. They are hosting an exhibition with the title Luxuskunst about unique specimen, prototypes and reproduction.

One room was dedicated to KOhZO DENIM by Shauket Imam. Forget what you ever have known about jeans and how they have to be made:
all of KOhZO’s fabrics are 100% natural. unlike most of today’s jeans that are made of cotton with synthetic and sulfur dyes, KOhZO uses exclusive, rare, and totally pure ingredients. these include washi, a traditional japanese paper, as well as hibiscus, bamboo, pineapple, cannabis, and much more. KOhZO dyes consist of pure indigo, vegetable, natural mud, fruit, and charcoal. and KOhZO fabrics are semi-hand woven on traditional shuttle looms. so you won't find the artificial treatments and unnatural finishes that exist on most of today’s jeans. this is how we keep our promise to you: beauty and comfort, never at the expense of the environment.
Unfortunately, prices start at CHF 500 and end close to 1000 for a pair - for Xmas maybe.

Rose of Jericho

My flatmate Tigresa has been called Rose of Jericho by one of her admirers. I have no idea why, but the funny thing about it is that my department at the office is also unofficially known by this name.

The Rose of Jericho is the common name for two plants belonging to different families in the plant kingdom:
  • One, an annual desert plant (Anastatica hierochuntica) of the family Cruciferae (mustard family), is native to Asia Minor. It is a resurrection plant. The branches curl into a ball at maturity, after which the plant, in its native habitat, is blown about by the wind and the seeds are dispersed.
  • The other, Odontospermum pygmaeum, is native to the same region and also called rose of Jericho because of its similar properties. It is a member of the family Asteraceae (aster family).
My department is called Rose of Jericho, because it shows a similar behaviour as a resurrection plant.

Resurrection plants grow in arid regions. They may apparently be brought back to life after they are dead. In reality they have hygroscopic qualities which cause them to curl up when dry and to unfold when moist. They are frequently sold in the dried condition as a novelty.

Our department has been announced dead several times. Employees have been made redundant, but somehow it always managed to survived by acquiring just enough contracts that it would have been to much trouble to close it down for good. So far we have not been sold as a novelty either. Touch wood.

However, that does still not explain, why Tigresa is supposed to be a Rose of Jericho.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Monastrell Serendipity

That old image of Murcia vines from southeastern Spain being robust, harsh and with high alcohol content is now history. Nowadays, the different denominators of origin (D.O.) in this region bet on the fruitness and potent aromas of their famous young vines and the proper cask assembly of their aged wines.

Thanks to the new production system and changes in harvesting methods, some great wines are now being obtained in D.O. Jumilla, in which the Monastrell variety is showing off its great potential. The Monastrell grape requires a hot climate to ripen. The grape is capable of producing high-alcohol wines with a high level of tannin.

Today's Monastrell choice was an Altos De La Hoya, 2003. The wine's tannin was well balanced with its acids. It is palatable, with an opulent body and an intense sweetness with dried plums.

Monastrell has an outdated reputation of being uncapable of producing world-class wines. Hence, Monastrell wines are still underrated. E.g, the Altos De La Hoya is available at the renowned Baur Au Lac Wein for only CHF 15.00 (

Papas a la Mexicana

Gatín is in the kitchen cooking brunch. He mixed and salted:
  • boiled, peeled and chopped potatoes
  • chopped tomatoes
  • onion rings
  • some chili peppers.
The mixture is frying in a pan. It will be served with a couple of fried eggs. In Mexico they serve this with a hot chocolate or a glass of milk. We will have it on the balcony of Gomad Mansion with a Riesling.

Dear Kyle,

If in the infamous StockAitkenWaterman days somebody had told me that I would ever go to a concert of yours, this would have ended in a tough fight - no doubt. However, as soon as your unforgettable duet Where the Wild Roses Grow with Nick Cave emerged, the world was never as before. In 2002, you definitely enchanted me by giving this fantastic Fever concert. This show sent me on a five day high like freshly fallen in love.

On the eve of your Fever concert in Zürich I realised that I had no idea where the ticket was. Usually, I put them under my vintage telephone (one that still looks and sounds like a telephone is supposed to). But there was nothing at all. Four hours later, I had moved all furniture at least once, had been through the waste paper three times and had emptied and put in order all drawers. Still no sign of the ticket. Depressive feelings and self-pity had taken control over my usually quite stable personality hours ago. My fingers were trembling when I wrote a panic SMS to Jeanpi, who supposed to go with me to the concert. At noon on the day of the concert, Jeanpi entered my apartment and found the ticket within 30 seconds in a cupboard in the bath. I have still no idea why and when I put it there.

Yesterday, you had the generosity to requests the honour of my company again. I was a lucky boy, because I was accompanied by my boyfriend Gatín, flatmate Tigresa, and best mates Jeanpi. I would have taken Ms.Mac with me. But unfortunately for her, since I bought the ticket and your concert, I fell in love like never before and already longer lasting than ever (Gatín and I agreed upon at least 20 years). Hence, the open ticket went to Gatín.

The target was high. I will not compare the show with others, like the critic of Tages-Anzeiger did (who wants to be compared with Madge, the stakhanovite of Pop Music, anyway). My measure is the Fever show, which took me absolutely by surprise, because back then, I expected to be a bit entertained and have a pleasant evening. I was the last to anticipate a complete enchantment.

The letter is getting a bit long and I reckon your a busy lady, hence I switch to notes:
  • Apéritif
    Roxheimer Berg, 2001, Riesling late vintage by Prinz zu Salem-Dalberg - a present by Gatín's boss for the occasion.
  • Stage
    More symmetric and less bold. much more light - that is, lights everywhere. the band was not hidden anymore.
  • Art work
    A bit more reserved, therefore, let you more space.
  • Choreography
    I guess it was Raphael Bonachela' work. He could keep up with his own standards.
  • Dancers
    This was the biggest danger for you, because they kept distracting my eyes, mind and attention all the time. Where does one find men like that? I hardly saw anything as astonishing as that: spotless bodies, agile movements and breath-taking presence.
  • Costumes
    I lost count, there were to much changes. But most of them were frocks. I hope Tigresa got the hint. I like women in frocks, especially in Summer. It makes the sun shine more lovely and brighter.
  • Songs
    There were about 27 or so, even one from Pet Shop Boy's musical Closer to Heaven. And most charming Somewhere Over the Rainbow on a crescent hovering aloft. The rest was a collection of your best work.
  • Title
    Showgirl. How could you (or William Backer) choose that? Show is right, definitely. But you are not a girl, not even a princess. It must be Showqueen.
The bottom line: I'm grateful that I was admitted. You could keep up with Fever. I can hardly remember any concerts that made me randy as a dachshund. Yours did.

With all my love,

Friday, April 01, 2005

158 & Still Raising...

My pulse is rapidly quickening. There are only eight hours to go until I will be enchanted by La Minogue. I Believe in You!

Wisdom of a Haircut

My colleague Eberhard just shared some wisdom with me. This exchange of sageness happened, because Eberhard is sporting a spanking new haircut:
  1. A fresh haircut makes one feel better.
  2. Long hair makes one depressive, because the excess of hair is so heavy.
I'm not going to question Eberhard's eloquent astuteness. However, there are a couple of unanswered questions, because Eberhard's action did not fully comply with his well founded reputation to be an unshakeable skinflint:
  1. Why does Eberhard abandon a day's wage in order to get a bargain haircut in Germany for 15 Euro? (see opportunity cost)
  2. Why does Eberhard has to pay for a haircut, when his Lebensabschnittspartnerin (German for "significant other for a period of one's life") works as a hairdresser, lives in his house and does not pay a cent of rent? (see marginalism and homo economicus)