Tuesday, October 20, 2015

lost in translation

Happy Tuesday, everyone!  I woke up today, on the metaphorical wrong side of the bed, but then this catchphrase popped in my head:  
Tuesday: at least it's not Monday

Right right right, let's move past my incessant ramblings.  I'd like to share a musical collaboration I did before my move, with Tury Saldana.  All Instrumental writing/recording/post-production by him, with my added lyrics/vocals.  I decided to write the lyrics in Spanish, though as to why I did this, I'm not sure.  Maybe it was a last goodbye to the country I called home for four years, or maybe Spanish is just a better language for expressing what needs to be said.  It's funny how much gets lost in translation, and how much I struggle now to be able to say exactly what I want to say in English.  We have so many words, but somehow, I find myself fruitlessly grasping at them, searching for the words that won't betray my thoughts, but knowing they will somehow fall flat.  Part of the beauty of Spanish (and German) is that following basic rules, you can invent words, and people will understand the meaning behind them.  It's like a living, moving language.  English (or maybe just contemporary U.S. English) lacks this creativity, which I find sad, because I like the complexity of our vowel sounds and the lulling, so-called laziness of our consonants.  I guess you can't have everything!

Without much more rambling, I'll leave you with the collab.  It's a reflection on the tragedy of dementia, and the complications that it causes in love-rooted relationships.  Anyway, give it a listen, and download it for free, if you like!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Dear Costa Rica, I won't miss you

As some of you may know, I spent the last four years in Costa Rica, and anticipated a move during the last two years.  The move has finally happened, and we are settling into our new apartment in Northern Germany (there's no fun or privacy in getting TOO detailed as to my whereabouts ;-)).  Is it cold?  Yes.  Is the architecture badass?  Yes.  Am I losing my mind with chocolate and cheese lust?  Yes, definitely. 

My first impressions are good, people are very friendly and polite, the service is good, the food is fatty and delicious, and people actually stop for pedestrians!  I'm told this is most unusual (minus the fatty food) for Germany, and that I must live in a magical pocket of joy and wonder.  Or could this just be a thing of perception, as I've lived in the opposite extreme for the last four years?  My husband pointed out that perhaps my time in Costa Rica has primed me to see the positive, as the service there is horrible, the food is mostly bland, all material goods (incl food) are overpriced, drivers have the temperament and decision-making skills of a 15-year-old, government services are bogged down in bureaucracy and greed, and not to mention a certain infuriating brand of almost dishonest passive-aggressiveness that I thought I would finally be able to free myself from when I moved away from Seattle. 

Costa Rica bred in me, a raging irritability, an anger, a frustration, and a generally unpleasant disposition.  At the same time, I felt a feebility, a helplessness, a weakness in my inability to change anything about my surroundings, which only made me angrier.  I don't know if it was the noise, the saddening signs of the populace's disregard for human life, the feeling of entrapment and alienation between the bars built into every property and window, or if it was simply the heat of the burning sun; whatever the cause was, there was always fuel to keep the fire burning and to let it grow, right up 'till the very end when I was mugged, in broad daylight in a public park supposedly full of police officers, a mere three weeks before my departure.  I felt fed up, or as my mother would say, "Ich habe die Schnauze voll!"

So when people ask me "will you miss Costa Rica?" I can honestly answer "no"... "but what about the heat?  You're going to miss that in Germany!" nope.  That's what down coats and hot showers are for. 

As I type this, I am shivering in my heatless-until-October apartment, my feet numb, my nose and fingers icy, yet I find myself again, enjoying the sharpness of my thoughts, and the coolness, the placidity, of my emotional composure.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

gothic butterfly

I found this amazing, velvety black butterfly outside our front door and had to share!  I'm always finding weird and amazing insects, and although butterflies are just arthropods like cockroaches (my least favorite insect!), I have a certain affinity to them and their metamorphic cycle.

Monday, August 3, 2015

modern gothic kitchen

Anyone who has ever visited my house knows my obsession with with the black/red/grey/white color scheme.  It's in my paintings, in my clothes, and in my house.  It's a mix of modernity and darkness, and it appeals to my gothic sense, but not in a tacky-velvety-sort-of-way (I'm not anti-velvet, I've just compulsively hated the feel of it since I was a child).  Don't get me wrong, I love dark victorian-style furniture, I just believe that in my house, it would look as out of place as a peacock among hens.  If I had an obscenely large house, or even just fancy baseboards, then I would probably have chosen a victorian theme, but my house is small and simple, and I'm content with being stylish in a minimalistic sense.

Recently we had our dreadful white kitchen cupboards re-painted.  I say dreadful because you can literally see every speck of dirt on anything white, and since Costa Rica's dirt/dust has a mind of its own, my white cupboards turned the color of a coffee addicts' teeth.  It was silly and frivolous of me to splurge on a paint job because of our impending move, but I wanted to enjoy just a few months of real color.

I kept the old handles :-)