Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sentimental at Starbucks

Sine I'm on a business trip, I'm parted again from Toño ... and when I'm asleep, I search for him in vain.

When I come back from work to the hotel here in Fredericksburg, VA, I usually go for a 25 minutes walk to the next Starbucks to sip a latte and enjoy the sunset behind the shops.

So you can imagine my mood when I was cuing for my shot and discovered a New Wave sampler on the shelf, full of music that carried me through my teenage years. Yes, I had to get it - only to drive my sentimental mood into the next level.

Roxy Music: More Than This
The Pretenders: Brass in Pocket
XTC: English Roundabout
Jesus and Mary Chain: Just Like Honey
Tears For Fears: Everybody Wants to Rule the World
Joy Division: Love Will Tear Us Apart
The Smiths: Hand In Glove
Echo & The Bunnymen: Never Stop (Discotheque)
The Cure: In Between Days
Ramons: I Wanna Be Sedated
Squeeze: Another Nail in My Heart
The Psychedelic Furs: The Ghost In You
Generation X. Dancing with Myself
The Specials: A Message to You Rudy
Tom Tom Club: Genius of Love
Elvis Costello & The Attractions: (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Turning American

I'm back in the U.S. of A. and my Americanisation is heavily progressing. The newest development - I'm driving a SUV.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The α and ω of Summer

For me, summer 2008 starts today with Kylie and ends on August 30, with Madonna. Is there a better way to frame a season?

Thinking of Deserts

Looking at Tigresa's images from the desert, memories of my first encounters to sandy places resurfaced (I prefer desserts to beaches).

I put my feet for the first time on a sea of sand, when I travelled through Central Asia in 1988, where the desert Kyzyl Kum lies. However, we mainly stayed in the cities, such as marvellous Bukhara.

The main beginners mistakes was, to take only black jeans with me, not the best idea when you travel in July. I learned from this for my next trip to a hot place in 1989:

This picture was taken in the Roman theatre in Bosra in southern Syria. As you can see, my outer garment has undertaken a significant learning curve.

The most amazing part of that trip was the oasis Palmyra in central Syria. If there is one place you should visit in your life, it's Palmyra. And take your time to stay at least a couple of days. I have never seen anything alike any more. It's also the place where I had my first Mate, and where a Beduin tried to sell me his daughter (she had to translate since her father did not speak any English).

On the trip to Central Asia, I was reading Arthur Miller's autobiography Timebends. But I can't remember what I was reading in Syria besides of archaeological literature.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Talking It Over In The Desert

My personal favourite of Julian Barnes' novels is Talking It Over. It is the story of a ménage a trois, in which the action is unfolded to the reader by the three characters, who deliver only monologues. It is fascinating how differently the same story can be told by three directly involved eyewitnesses.

However, some years ago, I gave this book as a first of many to Tigresa. Some weeks ago, she took it with her to the Sahara. Here is her eyewitness report:

Well, I took it with me to Morocco to read once again. But we began with Tokyo by Mo Hayder (a must read) and read it to each other. One of our guides in he Sahara, Hüsein, was very eager to be educated. His English was good enough to start reading talking it over, and although I felt guilty to hand a western divorce drama over to a muslim Berber, he seemed to enjoy it and liked the character of Oliver in particular.. well, long story short, your book is now in the desert, and I secretly took a picture of Hüsein with the book for you. The other one shows my camel Emelel and me.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Fence Me In

While Sylv just learns to enjoy the experience of free flowing sound waves by roaring trains, I have to learn to sleep without it. After living 25 years next to half a dozen of railway lines, fabulous SBB has finally started to build noise barriers.

Luckily, there are still the trams, the air planes and last but not least the allotment gardeners that keep us from getting all to comfortable.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Cast The First Vote

Things have changed, since Toño became a passport carrying Swiss. We now spend Friday evenings watching political discussions yelling on Swiss television.

What was it about? Whether arbitrariness should become a corner stone in the Swiss naturalisation process (read about).

The ratings must had been phenomenal, since it was the first public encounter between the most famous lady and most infamous diva of Swiss politics.

Now only the ballot has to arrive so that Toño can cast his first vote.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Ambiguous Animation Painting

Odi has discovered this astonishing fillum:

MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

Note to self: Invest more time in enjoying art!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Zee Germans Finally Invade Britain

German techno group Scooter have knocked Madonna off the number one spot in the UK album chart.

Britain you're a disgusting embarrassment!

Mirin-Glazed Salmon

Nigella Lawson promises nothing less than a culinary sensation in her recipe for Mirin-Glazed Salmon. This was reason enough to send Toño to the Japanese shop to get the necessary exotic ingredients:


This happened a few months ago and since then I frequently buy some salmon to experience this sensation again and again.

Mirin-Glazed Salmon

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Audacity of Hope

Toño still hopes for change towards Hillary.

Toño fully agrees with James Carville, who has said: "If she gave him one of her cojones, they'd both have two"

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Red Meat, Beer & Hooters

I'm in northern Virginia in the U.S. of America. I'm surprised how lovely the area is. Before I came here, my host inquired whether I'm a red meat, beer and Hooters kind of guy. Well I replied that I don't mind red meat and beer, but I've never been to Hooters.

Within the first 24 hours, I've not only been to Hooters, but also to Walmart and Subway - all places, I've never been before. And yes, I had a couple of beers and steaks as well - but those are things I've had before.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

The Broth

The opening of Peter's Confirmation Meal was a Beef Consommé Celestine (Flädlisuppe). First I had to make a proper broth. For 5 litres of stock I used:

1 kg veal feet and bones
1 kg marbled boiled beef (though not boiled yet), such as breast core
500 g bright vegetables such as leeks, celery, onion, turnip autumn, radish, parsley root, cut into pieces
2 handful of parsley
2 tablespoon tomato purée
5 litres of cold water
2 bags of spices with pepper seeds, cloves, thyme or rosemary, bay
2 teaspoon salt

Blanch the veal feet and bones briefly, remove and cold rinse. Put them with the beef, vegetables, parsley, tomato purée and water into a pan and boil it up. Yes, it took pans to deal with this amount of ingredients.

Boil it without lid at low heat for 1 hour. Remove the foam on the surface with a spoon several times.

Add the bag with spices and salt. Boil the broth half covered further 1-2 hours at low heat. Let the broth cool, and pass it through a sieve. Put it covered into the fridge for at least 4 hours (or overnight), then remove the fat layer.

For the Flädli: Whisk together 4 eggs, 2 dl of milk and 2dl of water, add 200 g flour and blend until smooth. Let it rest for half an hour. Heat a crepe pan, brush with clarified butter and cook about 8 crepes, only light colour. Cool to room temperature, roll and cut into chiffonade.

Put some Flädli into the plate and fill up with hot broth.

Sugar Buzz

Ms. Mac kindly asked me for my opinion on Madonna's latest sugar dripping piece of art. Well, Ms.Mac's wishes will ever be my command:

Candy Shop
Sticky and sweet, like a hot horizontal limbo.

Four Minutes
Too American for my taste. However, it is the Americans who should finally get the message anyway.

Give It To Me
This is my favourite - a catchy sing-along. I can't way to dance to it in strobe lights.

The necessary calmer after Give It To Me - a solid song, though.

Miles Away
Excellent track - this one could enchant us for years on the radio waves.

She's Not Me
Totally camp - Madonna never gives up.

This one did not caught me yet. I just don't like the beat. It does not work for me.

Beat Goes On
Well, this I call the right beat. Funky track.

Dance Tonight
You don't have to be beautiful, rich and famous? However, this is the better track with Justin than Four Minutes. Funkier and sexier.

Spanish Lesson
Soy un caso perdido con el Español, esta canción también.

Devil Wouldn't Recognise You
Dark and solid

Who is the master and who is the slave? Justin, do you really have to ask?

How many stars would I give it? It's Madonna, she never deserves less than the Milky Way.

Friday, May 02, 2008


Do you remember this? Even bureaucrats sometimes mange to shove some paper. After they processed it for over two and half years, Toño finally received his citizenship certificate:

We celebrated this event in a traditional Zürich tourist-trap (in the company and at the cost of some top Cypriot wine makers).

Although, I had lived in Zürich for 25 years and 10 days when Toño was naturalised, he now refers to me as the foreigner, since I'm citizen of Märstetten. This village lies in Thurgau, a former colony of Switzerland which was liberated by Napoleon (e.g. my place of birth was built in the colonial era).

Toño is now entitled to apply for a Swiss passport, which he should receive in a fortnight.

Don't Try This At Home

I did learn this the hard way. Don't iron while watching a DVD and wearing only briefs! I once burned myself badly doing this. It took weeks until I could swim again without pain.

Talking about briefs and aussieBum... They just offered the world the first boxer shorts that even I consider quite hot... and I kind of like the song too.

These shiny and smooth to touch, sleek black boxer shorts feature our new 'boosterJock' technology that lift and enchance your assets naturally whilst providing support where it's needed most.