Freitag, 29. Mai 2009

don't judge a book by it's something nice about a person don't say anything at all

There was an advertisement for Hannah Montana on the back of 20 Minuten Freitag today. I've never seen the show or heard her music, but understand that she's a pop icon for tweens, but I'd never realized that the only characteristic making her one personality different from the other is her hair color.
My first reaction was "give me a break", but then I thought about Clark Kent and Superman and that was just a hair style and a pair of glasses. I suppose that one must suspend disbelief for that sort of entertainment. But then I got to thinking about my old favorite cartoon Jem.
Jem had two different identities that involved more than hair color and glasses. As Jem, she was a rockstar and, if I remember correctly, maybe she fought crime? I dunno, there was another band and they were the bad guys and they were called the Misfits. Her mild-mannered identity was some sort of philanthropist who had a mansion that was an orphanage and there was a big computer and magic earrings and an episode about the dangers of drugs.
What's truly important is that both of her identities had the SAME BOYFRIEND. Jem's identities were secret to him, but she knew that she was two-timing her, because she was her girl on the side. This upset me as a kid. For some reason I understood that we were meant to suspend disbelief for things like Clark Kent and Superman but Jem never jived with me.

Freitag, 22. Mai 2009

Coming this July

The new Harry Potter film is coming soon and I am just so darn excited. I am reminded of the summer the 6th book came out. It was the day that I was to be flying to Switzerland. The UPENN bookstore was selling them at midnight to a limited amount of customers and I intended to be in that limited amount. The evening began with a viewing of Charlie and the Chocolate factory with a bag of sweeties. Then I waltzed down the street to the bookstore ready to claim my book.
The line was fantastic. Some people in costumes, some not, some Sorority girls selling adult beverages to we waiters, it was a hoot. That is, until I was three people from the door and the booksellers announced that they were closing. I was crushed.
So I scooted on home, checked my luggage and went to sleep. The next morning I headed to JFK airport and tah-dah!!!! there was a whole stand of harry potter's books right in the entry way. It was marvelous. Fantastic. I was so excited that I read the whole flight. I'd never done that before. I read the whole flight and that, mixed with going straight from the airport straight up into the mountains resulted in the worst jet-lag-inspired insomnia I've ever experienced. By day three I was so out of it it was insane. In the mountains in Austria Ivo wanted to try to help me to sleep and offered to read to me.
"Ok" I sobbed, absolutely beside myself from exhaustion and inability to sleep.
"Are you good and comfy?"
"*sniff* yes"
"Alright 'Snape rushed down the tower stairs. Beneath red and green curses were flying. The wolf.....' Jessy, I don't think that this is very soothing reading."
It was definitely not. Lucily Ivo switched to Der Schwarm and I dropped right off.

Later that summer Lucas joined us on the Lake of Constance after a stint in London. He'd been there with a theater school and escorted the teenagers to a bookshop in London at midnight to be the first to buy their books (As far as I know, Lucas still resolutely refuses to read any Harry Potter book). He waited with them "chapperoning" them and fending off skeezy men from hitting on the naive young women.
At one point a group of drunke guys came to the end of the line and said "What club is that then?"
an excited 16 year old cheerfully answered "It's a bookstore! We're waiting for the new Harry Potter!"
"Cuing up for a fucing book? Can you be seriuos?"
That was a great summer.

Meanwhile I arrived back to the states to find the boy I babysat for completely destroyed. Without spoinling anything, the book was a bit too musch reality for a fantasy series.

Dienstag, 19. Mai 2009

prevention or pretty

Here in Switzerland there are large mountain boulders in front of some jewelry stores and banks as a measure of prevention. There are also metal poles that are raised by a security guard's key but that is not what is important right now (it's just really neat to watch). You see, in Switzerland, boulders are handy and being useful there in the street. In America, big huge planters are used to prevent truck bombs and the like, instead of boulders. I wonder which has a more calming effect. The boulders, which one can imagine rolled down the nearby mountains conveniently in the path of any vehicles that would wish to do harm or a massive pot of plants and litter.
This question is fresh on my mind because I have arrived home in Zürich from Geneva to be startled by MASSIVE plant pots all throughout the city. Sunday afternoon, my first thought was "What is that massive ugly pot protecting?"
It is not protecting anything. Apparently it is part of a tourism coup. They are huge and garishly painted and decorated (In front of a shoe store, there are shoe-soles plastered on, some how) and distributed throughout the city in seemingly non-sensical arrangements.
When I first came to Zürich there were Bears, also garishly painted but slightly more sporadically dispersed. I believe that there was an even earlier campaign of cows or lions or something. In Providence, we had the Mr. Potato-heads, which I guess are similar, but I liked them and the fact that they were often stolen led to a level of intrigue that these planters will probably never attain.
Along with the soled pot, there are pots that match their location. That is similar to the bears, which would often confuse people by trying to inspire them to visit whichever nearby business had sponsored them. However, some of them seem not to fit at all. On Paradeplatz in front of two HUGE bank buildings there seems to be an oddly urban themes. Some of the pots have concrete high rises painted on them while others are covered in purposeful hot-pink spray-paint in a faux-graffiti style.
The Zürich tourism website calls this campaign "Invasion of the giant pots" and the president says "During the summer of 2009 the Gartencity Zürich will enrapture our Swiss and foreign guests and leave a lasting memory. This is how we love presenting Zurich."
I wonder how many Americans visiting will not only not be enraptured, but like myself, be reminded of post September 11th American protection pots.