Bed, bath and what???

The most curious thing happened the other day! And now you are already wondering, what has happened to me with a title like that? What does it even mean? I’ll come to that in a second!

Bored I was surfing the TV channels and got stuck with the 80s series “Married … with children”. I’m sure you all remember Al Bundy, Peggy, Bud and Kelly. Of course, you do. And since it was German TV – I’m living in Germany, so German TV is the normal standard – I had to listen to the Bundys in German synchronization. Laughing out loud about Jay Leno being exchanged with former German talk show personality Harald Schmidt. Do you guys know Harald Schmidt? Of course not! Didn’t think so!

And was once again reminded that German synchronizations and movie title translations totally suck. At least they did in the 80s and 90s. I have to admit it has improved with guys like David Letterman not being replaced anymore. Because we are cosmopolitan enough to recognize the name.

One of the funniest things I came across was while watching the movie “Old School” with Luke Wilson and Vince Vaughn. I nearly fell off my couch laughing my head off when Vince Vaughn mentioned in one scene that his wife had been shopping at “Bett, Bad und Boden” which should stand for “Bed, Bath and Beyond” of course but was actually translated as “Bed, Bath and Floor”. I had to rewind, cause I couldn’t believe whether I had heard right. I had!

In those times of my youth they translated absolutely everything and I won’t even mention how some movie titles were translated. It’s just too embarrassing and you’d either be totally flabbergasted or sue our German/Austrian broadcasters’ butts because of “cruelty to the American people”.

Some of the worst experiences I had – and still have – are watching synchronized American sitcoms. The one or other is pretty well translated and the chosen voices acceptable. Others, however, I find hilariously funny in the original version and can’t crack a smile over in German. Like … John Lithgow in “Third rock from the sun”. He is absolutely brilliant, his facial expressions paired with his vocal ones … incredible. I just can’t stop laughing whenever I watch it on DVD. The same experience I had to suffer with “The big bang theory”. It’s sad. It’s just sad.

In German, it’s so dull I actually have to switch channels so that I don’t hit the TV set with something when it’s on. (And usually I’m not a violent person! Most of the time!)

One of the few exceptions – from the good old times, since the synchronization situation has definitely improved – is Bruce Willis’ voice. It’s perfect! Hunkily perfect, much deeper than his original voice, so it’s totally weird hearing him say “Yippie-Ki-Yay, Motherfucker!” in a much higher voice.

Another very rare exception from the old times – as in the 70s – was the series “The Persuaders” (followed by “Jason King” and “Department S”). You remember Tony Curtis and Roger Moore? Surprisingly I learned that it was not exactly a hit in the States and Great Britain. And I just didn’t understand why, only knowing the German version … until I came across the one or other episode not synchronized … oh boy! I so got it then! I really did! Boringly boring! … The German version was synchronized by two genius men speaking the parts of Lord Brett Sinclair and Danny Wilde, using a language you could only describe as 70s Berlin youth slang. It’s so ridiculously funny that even I stick to German and German only! (And that should tell you something!)

Anyway, let me just say that – compared to series from all over the world – you Americans and British (sorry, no experience with Australian series :-)) just have a knack for it to produce the funniest sitcoms ever! Let’s just hope synchronizations will be done more carefully in the future!


This is how it started

Remember my very first posting? Where I briefly introduced myself and scratched the topic of my writing obsession? I have been going back in time mentally recently, trying to remember when it all really started. So many years have passed … but I guess it all really started in the 90s, on my first single trip which led me to Venice in winter. Venice, Italy, by the way. Not Venice, California. Why would I even go to Venice in California in winter?

Anyway, where was I? Right, my first single trip to Venice. It was exciting, getting on the night train in Austria and getting off it in the morning in Venice. It was a sunny day as I stepped onto the Vaporetto (ferry boat) to get off at the Rialto bridge to search for my hotel. (Those were still the times I had to use a real map instead of my iPhone’s Google map app!)

The sun soon vanished and was replaced by cold, rain and fog and most of my time I spent in cosy little cafes with my yellow pad and ballpoint, just writing. About my thoughts, my dreams, my observations … and yes, in those days a Macbook or smartphone was still something futuristic just like the ingenious inventions from Q for 007. So, as incredible as it might seem nowadays, I was quite oldfashionably writing by hand. (And sometimes I still prefer doing that. There’s just something incredibly satisfying hearing the rustling of paper as my pen is scratching on the surface … and no one is able to read it cause my handwriting is just awful!)

So, Venice is the place where it really started and everything else just kind of happened. Imagining various “What if” scenarios, the short stories about another life turned into longer ones until I had filled hundreds, thousands of pages, living and travelling to different parts of the world, researching extensively, doing all those things I couldn’t do as a student. Being me, just somewhere else. In the later years, I also started to write short articles, just because there were topics I needed to comment on. Like crazy Tom Cruise jumping around on Oprah’s couch, Paris Hilton and her jail time, the US election with Sarah Palin – the hockey mum with lipstick who could see Russia from her home -, TV shows, shopping, religion, holidays, travelling, incredible stuff I had seen on TV and needed to comment … some of this older stuff will be posted in the course of time together with new stuff. Since my need to write is back, I decided to do the 21st century approach and start a blog, curious how many out there will actually read what I’m thinking …


How to survive a boring lecture

IMG_2110 2Well, I’m not a student anymore, but was one once! So, this posting is for all those stuck at university having to endure a very boring lecture by an even more boring lecturer. All tried and proved working!

  • Sleep without being caught! Now, how do you best do that? First of all: DON’T sit in the first row! The further back the better, it’s not advisable to lay your head down on the desk. THAT only attracts attention. Cover your forehead with one hand, stare at your papers and pretend to read them. That way you look busy and can easily sleep the one or other round. In case the situation gets dicey, ask your friend to wake you up! (Hopefully he/she won’t be asleep as well, cause the two of you were partying until the wee hours together!) Otherwise … well, let me say, it can be a humiliating experience.
  • Listen to the latest sports game! The longer your hair the better! Guys, you are at a disadvantage there. Since it’s not quite easy hiding ear plugs if your head is clean shaven. The question is: do us girls really want to listen to sports? But boys, there’s always a solution! There are really cool wigs around, even ones directly sewn into baseball caps. Is that awesome or what? Perfect disguise! Just be careful not to shout out loud when your favourite team wins the game! Or loses!
  • Actually try to follow! That’s the hardest part! After all boring lectures are exactly that: boring! So actually following it can be unnerving and extremely exhausting! Even after the first thirty minutes you’ll wonder what the hell you are doing there. Now imagine it’s a blocked session and you have to face three or four hours in the morning and the same in the afternoon. Desperation will sink in and you wonder how to survive that! Try to follow? Bad idea in this case! But there are a few more options left for you!
  • Have a coffee break! You either bring your own Starbucks Grande Soy Latte – wishful thinking on my part, Starbucks was not existent in my university town – or sneak out of the lecture hall and get your delicious dishwater coffee from the coffee vending machine. If you are very adventurous, head to the next coffee shop off campus. That way you get some fresh air and a break to recharge your lecture batteries.
  • Send text messages and therefore stay in contact with your friends. Just don’t forget to turn off sound and vibration. There’s nothing more embarrassing than having the National Anthem playing in the middle of a lecture. Or exam! (Which happened to me once and yes, I, an Austrian, had the American National Anthem as my ringing tone!)
  • Daydream! Oh yeah! I love that choice! You can think of everything and everyone while staring at your lecturer! He’ll think you are sooo interested, following his every word while in reality you’re on a lonely island, with this gorgeous guy sitting a couple of rows in front of you, relaxing from your hard studies!
  • Take copies of your favourite book and entertain yourself … be careful not to laugh out loud, better take a romance. Hold on, NO crying! The safest bet would be a crime novel or mystery. Less dangerous! Or – in case you are a literature buff – literature. You won’t have to feel bad for that since you’ll expand your general knowledge of the world. My preferences? Moliere, Nestroy, Shakespeare, Kleist, Goethe, …
  • Study for another subject – the most efficient way to pass the time even though it’s the most boring one as well. I don’t have much more to comment on that, do I?
  • Doodle! Doodling is fun! Remember your high school years? When you had a crush on Michael / Peter / Jason / … and you drew little hearts and initials all over your books and papers and binders and … so, why not take up your hobby again and doodle away? There are no rules!
  • Just get through it! Face it! Apart from staying at home in the first place there’s nothing else than just get through it!

So, have a happy lecture and don’t get discouraged! Time always passes … one way or another!

Are you superstitious?

Doing a little research recently I randomly browsed the net, jumping from one page to another and came across one that’s too good to not use for my blog: superstitions. As old as mankind … and as silly! You have no idea the amount I found and can’t help but sharing some of them with you. The ones with animals in them – for now:

  • A dog eating grass means rain! Boy, it should pour everywhere then all the time! With hundreds and thousands of dogs around … just take a city like LA. Sunny most of the year. With who knows how many dogs eating grass because they’ve been fed pancakes and chocolate and pizza by their spoiling owners! Still sunny at your place? Here it definitely is …
  • It’s bad luck if you’ve been followed by a strange dog! Now, don’t be so mean! Maybe the cutie pie following you just likes you, is homeless and wants to go home with you! That just can’t be bad luck! Well, maybe if the dog has fleas and you’ve got to sanitize your apartment after the dog moved in. (Maybe you should just move out then and get a new apartment!)
  • Eating a hair from a horse’s forelock is a cure for worms! A) You either get worms because of eating it or B) The worms are so disgusted they’re leaving for themselves! This marvellous health tip also doesn’t point out HOW to eat the hair. Swallow it down in one big lump? Chew it piece for piece? Can you cook it with veggies? How does horse hair soup sound? Okay! I’ll stop before you get sick! And me too …
  • To see an adder means bad luck, to kill an adder means good luck. Those two just can go hand in hand! My advice: if you see an adder, shoot it! Bad luck turns into good luck, so you’re basically as well off as in the beginning!
  • If a bird poops on your car it’s good luck! How can that be good luck? I bet something like that happens when you don’t have Windex and Kleenex in your car because you used it up for your LAST lucky bird poop on your car. Lucky, lucky you!
  • If bird droppings land on your head, it means good luck! What!!! On my head too? Not just my car? Ohhh, yeah! Especially if you have an important meeting and are already late. Maybe they just say it’s good luck to not make you one of those freaked out girls, running around, shouting at everyone and everything, trying to catch this damn bird who spoiled your perfect coiffure!
  • Sitting backwards on a donkey is a cure for snake bites and toothache. Do I really have to comment on that? There are several problems. Say, a snake bites you. Do you first go on the search for a donkey or a doctor? Or maybe a doctor with a donkey? I assure you, you’ll be dead before you find either! And the toothache? Well, I can actually believe that your toothache will be gone after you’ve ridden a donkey for an hour. But only because you won’t have any teeth left that could hurt.

Well, I hope I have improved your weekend by entertaining you with a few old fashioned superstitions – and not those boring ones like Friday the 13th and black cats. Have an accidental free week, and please, don’t hunt any pooping birds.