Sunday, May 20, 2012

Art. Not Modern, Contemporary

            Last Wednesday, I got to partake in one of my most favorite activities, going to an art opening.  I love them, and I am always surprised.  This particular show was much anticipated and took place at three different locations with a bus that took museum goers from location to location.  Very happily, my ever charming friend Kaska joined me for the excursion since she and I are – as she put it – the Beavis and Butthead of the local arts scene. 
Unfortunately, neither Kaska nor I have clothing that is appropriately artistic for an art opening.  One of our fellow patrons was donning a hot pink dress with hot pink stripper shoe accessories.  She was either a well dressed art viewer or a personification of a flashlight.  She looked pretty good.  A distinguished, middle-aged German man was wearing a well tailored grey business suit punctuated with man jewelry made out of red Legos.  He was similarly delightful.
            We moved on to the next gallery and met a woman who had a hat made out of a ball of yarn and another who wore a single earring made out of drapery tassle.  We saw some fascinating fountains and saw a little dollhouse with a tiny man sitting at a tiny desk.  Then we went to another room, but it was the same room from the dollhouse, but it was life-size, and the man was a life-size statue sitting at a life-size desk.  Then we went out of a doorway that was HUGE and we were ourselves the man sitting at the desk in the dollhouse.  It was the most Alice in Wonderland of all my previous life experiences. 
            The show was absolutely packed.  We saw a painting of a man vomiting out a second story window onto the lawn below.  “You see,” Kaska said.  “This is what happens when you don’t have a balcony.”  Good point, Kashkers, good point.
            The focal point of the museum was a very attractive young woman naked in a tube filled with water.  It was a clear plastic tube, about two feet in diameter and seven feet tall, and it was constantly replenished with warm water.  Set against a set made to look like a turn of the century laboratory, two men in white lab coats moved lights and old fashioned surgical implements around the scene.  The woman's head was above the water level, and she chatted with the artist, and turned around, and moved up and down.  I think the idea was that she was supposed to look like a frog in a laboratory jar or like a butterfly pinned to a mat.  I think the artist was going for something deep, something about how human beings are just animals after all.  Something about how scientific study is important for progress but also ultimately dehumanizing.  But, since he picked a ridiculously attractive woman instead of your average Joe, I bet the artist also wanted an excuse to hang out with a beautiful woman naked in a tube. 
            I kind of wanted to go up and talk to her.  I didn’t, of course.  She was working.  But she was also an American, speaking English. Even though she was a naked woman in a tube of water, hearing the accent again was comforting.   Nevertheless, it would have been so strange to talk to her.  How would you introduce yourself to a naked woman in a tube?  You can’t shake her hand. 
            On the way out of the show, we took a quick look in the gift shop.  There was a mouse pad printed with the words, "Ist das Kunst oder kann das Weg?"  Which translates to, "Is this art, or can I throw it out?"  Good question, mouse pad.  I'll think about that and get back to you.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

I don't understand this one

           So here's the thing.  Apparently, when you are a man in Germany, you have to get married before you turn 30.  This is mandatory for some reason.  For your bachelor party, you then have to walk around the city selling some sort of bizarre service.  One time, I saw a groom to be dressed as a giant human ipod who was selling songs.  For a Euro, he would have to sing a song you selected for a handy song menu he carried.  One of his buddies would accompany the singing on a small plastic ukelele.
It was - and I think this goes without saying - just delightful. 
          Now, if you are a German man, and you fail to get married by your thirtieth birthday, you have to dress up like a super hero and clean trash off the steps of the town hall. 
          I can't say I understand it, but that is exactly what is happening in the pictures here.  You may think, dear English speaking readers, that I have made this up, but I am not.  Come to Germany and you will see these events taking place. :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New Blog!

Hello All,

All the posts that complain about the New York Times are going to be in their own blog, Has the Grey Lady Been Drinking?

This blog will now be just about living in Germany.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

German Rubber Duckie, you're the one

 You don't normally think of a German electric company as being a gigantic group of adorable people - but it turns out they are.  We are all, apparently, getting a 5% rebate this month.  So, to advertise, the company plastered these rubber duckie magnets on these round billboards all over town.  I got a picture of them setting up and then a picture later, after some duckies had been taken by enthusiastic energy customers.

I believe the idea was that you would take your duck home as a reminder of how awesome the electric company is.  Don't worry, dear readers, I did grab a duck, and it is happily holding stuff up on our refrigerator.

I took a single duck, since I am a very classy - only touch the brownie that you are going to eat - kind of lady.  However, this woman with a baby in a stroller and a little boy took a whole pond of ducks!  I took a picture of it, just so you would know.  She stashed several of them with the baby in her stroller.  You better have like 7 more kids at home, lady!

As for my duck, my husband and I have come to a disagreement.  He thinks that it should stay as a magnet on the fridge.  I thought it should go into the bathroom so as to fulfill its rubber duckie duties as originally intended.  Nevertheless, my husband insists that electricity (and thus energy company rebate advertisement ducks) and water don't mix, so the duck should remain in the kitchen.  It's a tough dilemma, but he does have a point.