Completely off topic...
Helau and allaaf!!! I've been preparing for this for weeks now and finally we have reached the climax of the "5th season" aka karneval. While I am still struggling with a sinus infection or whatever I refused to let this get into my way of celebrating the best season of all.
While I do not really celebrate Altweiber much, I still enjoy the parades. Parades in itself are a pretty absurd thing for strangers to the playful customs in Rhineland: people of all ages (adults mostly hammered) get dressed up in fancy dresses and go out on the streets to watch a parade of dressed up people on foot or in creative wagons, who throw mainly sweets into the crowds. But it is free sweets... Oh I love it!
That said I drove to the cologne area on Friday. Again some explanation is required: I grew up mainly in a town right in between Düsseldorf and cologne, the two biggest players (followed by Mainz) in karneval. So I got to see parts of both worlds and I have to say I prefer the cologne. Why, you might wonder. I realized something when it comes to rival cities. There seems to be something in common with the rivalry. Often, I believe, one city is more elegant or fancy while the other is more the “working class” area. I’ve seen it in Dublin (inner-city rivalry), Edinburgh/Glasgow and Düsseldorf/Cologne too. I usually prefer the less posh but more fun cities. This also shows in karneval: When I look at Düsseldorfs’ costumes and parade it seems to be rather sophisticated, elegant but reserved. Cologne on the other hand is colourful, loud and sometimes a bit over the top (sounds a bit like myself).
Moving on with storytelling time: We arrived in my home town on Friday but did not really do anything exciting (walking the dog, shopping, and pizza). The first highlight of this weekend was Saturday where we went to Leichlingen. This brings back a lot of old memories! Unfortunately, the Leichlinger parade is not what it used to be. It was way smaller (or maybe I just have gotten bigger). Afterwards we met with one of my oldest friends, who is due to pop in a week and her belly looks like she is going to give birth to twins. I am looking forward to the announcement of the name they have chosen for the child as they will not tell anyone before the baby has seen the first light of day.
Sunday was the most successful day. We went to the Schul- und Veedelzoch in Cologne. I really like this because it is not as crowded as the “Rosenmontagszug” (Shrove Monday Parade) and as the name suggests is for the schools and Veedel (districts). This year we had about 55 schools walking in the parade and 48 Veedel-groups (these are associations and clubs and what nots). The costumes were amazing the wagons really creative and we went home with a full bag of sweets.
Afterwards we visited another friend of mine and her relatively young dog. He is really not the best example for someone with a fear of dogs. We finished the day of at a local burger place with vegan falafel burger and sweet potato fries followed by apple strudel with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.
Rosenmontag my cold cought up with me and I was physically not able to go to the next parade. But I did but on my make-up regardless because I enjoy dressing up too much… As we had enough sweets for the team I did not mind too much and was glad to have a quiet day
Instagram followers already know, I had sent one application for a job and it was slightly different to what I usually would send. Screenshots below show you what I mean. Funny and bold , matching the feel I got from the company I send my application and got a call for an interview the next day. Now the job itself is not what you'd expect me to do as it is a shop assistance role. However for me I know that I will way more than half me current hourly salary and because I am not looking for fulfillment but means to pay my rent at least.
The interview however, especially that short notice really took me by surprise and while moving an appointment and having a cold on top of a bad hair day, it went quite well.
So good in fact, that I had a test day. With that I was standing in the shop two days later, learning the ins and outs of selling a high end product with t-shirts ranging from 39.90 up to 399.90
I learned that this job also required cleaning skills and standing stamina. Having worked in office jobs for the past 10 years this was probably the most challenging part. After the in store experience I was brought back to the manufacturing facilities. Here I learned how crystals get attached to the garments and why these applications can be really cheap but also why they can be extreemly expensive. Even with a lot of automatization with a high end product a lot of manual steps are taken to ensure quality.
Well, and a day later I signed my contract for a 20h work week.
It is devastating to actually see the impact on my salary especially moving from a tenured full time job into a field where I am a complete newbi. And while we never talk salary I can say that I will earn about 30% of my last paycheck. I have a feeling I will cry on the day I get my first payslip.
In any case, please check out my new employer look54.de and when you are in Berlin ensure to buy something while I am working so get commission ;)
Second part of my ESC post is all about the music. For the past 2years I have not only listened to the winners of the national selections but actually listened to all ESC entries published. And this is always fun, exciting and really good at times.
This year is no exception. I love the songs. Well as usual I am not always happy about the outcome but you cannot have it all.
So where do I start? Though it makes sense to start chronologically, I will not. Let me share my opinion on Germanys' entry first. It's toilet. Well, let me explain. Firstly the show was a bore. Please make it more fun to watch - especially when inviting the world to watch. (Though I admit that some of the jokes made during the show were actually enjoyable). Now, I also think there should have been a group or another male contestant in the show because I am tired of this sweet girl thing we have been trying to recreate for years now. Honestly though, from the cover versions I completely agree with the audience that the Adele song was great.
Now the two song choices, they are okay, but need a lot of remastering before sending them off to Kiev. I mean come on the beat is so David guetta it is embarrassing to watch. Plagiarize much?
Also I really believe we should send a German song for once. And I honestly believe that a good song in native tongue has chances to win.
Having said that I love the Belarusian entry this year. It just makes you smile. Though I am mad at Ireland for it because this song sounds like something Mumford and sons could have sung 2-3 years ago. But then again Ireland has not been making a lot of good choices over the last years. I know Brendan is a good singer but come on! Not a winning voice.... Well I will have to wait for the song, it might surprise me. But can Ireland please send someone like walking on cars or hozier? These are Irish exports that just work internationally.
Let me go through the list and start with the latest news on Albania. Why not send bote, why change it to English? Georgia had great songs this year and I am not happy that they went for a jamala song-alike. I am curiously awaiting the Swedish decision as I am already in love with some of their contestants- and I haven't even seen all.
In Iceland I am hoping the votes go for the Icelandic version of whatever song is chosen. Though I could not say that song is, possibly Erna (though a remake of undo), svala, or Arnar and rakel... But I also like Aron and Aron...
And then there is Moldova and I am seriously routing for the return of epic sax guy as this will make Eurovision fun for sure. I am not a big fan of the polish entry- which is sad because I generally do like them.
That was mostly about semifinal 1 (well except for my rant about Ireland) but then again not many countries in the second semifinal have something to show for yet. Exceptions are Malta, Hungary (again great pre-selection, not sure the best song made it- and I am still listening to Leander kills).
Okay, I need to Apollo-gize, but I hate the Swiss entry. Maybe it will grow on me, but I don't think it will ever.
As for the big 5, all have announced their entry and from those five I probably like UKs song best- and I think it is boring. Now Italy is growing on me, so I might like it by May. And I have not listened to dance and Spain just yet...
So with 14 songs published I think my bet would be for Belarus to win, but then again it is too early to say for sure as all songs can still be changed and too many countries are still about to release their contestant. And looking at the odds, bookmakers seem to disagree and see Italy in the winning position (i don't see that yet)
There is no point in trying any longer and finally admit it. It is time to write about Eurovision again. I've been trying to hold off but too much happened. So much in fact I will have to split my entries. So I am going to start with "nightmare Ukraine" and follow by why ESC music is the best yet trashiest music in the whole world.
Why nightmare Ukraine? Let me tell you why.
I have not once in my active time in ESC had such negativity happening before an event. With startling news about mass slaughtering of stray dogs to organizational issues leading to resignations all over the place. In between the news that probably nobody cares about and never reached media but is outrages for fans, this year OGAE (the official ESC fan club) members will not get fan packages. Further let-down for us hardcore fans, accreditations will be much more limited than in recent years, probably leading to not getting into the euroclub as I am used.
The issues around the ticket sales were just an annoying cherry on top: first the ticket sales date was only published very short notice and at a very late stage (3month before ESC). In addition, the ticket sale did not go smoothly either, and left many people worried. While concert.ua has done a good job in creating an English site, allowing international addresses and numbers to be added, the fear of credit card fraud was high. We will probably only notice in a few month if reports of stolen credit cards emerge again and if I will still have money on my bank account.
Talking about bank account, I also spent my last substantial sum of money before unemployment hits my account on fabrics for ESC. I bought several yards of organic fabrics with self designed heart-shaped flag prints. They have partially been delivered and I need to be honest I hate the feel of the organic cotton sateen material. It feels rather stiff and unnatural. Not quite sure yet how to make my dresses, as the designs need to match the fabric. I was hoping for a more flowing material. Also, with one the print is way to big to look good on a small person-good thing I am size extra.
On the bright side, I am in love with the the organic cotton knit fabric. It has such a lovely texture. I'm looking forward to getting the stoff'n order containing 3 more organic materials to compare to the spoonflower ones.
pennyless fashion designer working towards London