If you have it, you should go here:

Motto is an art book/ zine shop in Kreuzberg that I highly recommend (see, there I go, sounding like a super happy positive travel blog again. But no, seriously go, it’s a fucking awesome store full of weird things to look at.) Especially if you’re the type of person that walks into a room full of obscure literature and claps their hands. If you grope books, like to handle all the pages and have a weakness for exotic bindings and typeset, this is the place for you. It’s almost mildly stressful – so many to look at! How to pick?? What to buy? (Because you know you’re not walking out of there unscathed. Browse all you want. Eventually you’ll  cave.)

I bought a shiny new art magazine and pulled it out at a cafe table. My friend gestured for me to open it up, so we could flip through together and I felt a kind of possessiveness. I realized that I didn’t want him to read it first, and moreover, I didn’t even want him to look at it.

It was like I had bought a virgin at a slave auction and now wanted to defile it in private. I wanted to get to know it at home, alone, to bury my nose in its glossy pages and thumb through all the pages slowly and at my leisure – and yes, again in private. (This post could also be titled Why I Live Alone.) Who knew I had such a Madonna/ Whore complex about my printed content? I finagled it back from him as quickly as possible without suspicion and hid it. (Before you ask, no, it’s not even that kind of magazine. It’s a copy of Frieze.)


People always ask, “so what is your novel about?” I really don’t like answering this question, because it’s long and convoluted and I haven’t managed to condense 80,000 words into a soundbyte. Maybe the fault is mine and I need to work on my elevator speech, but more likely I’m going to lie with one of these:

1. Zombies (no further explanation required)

2. A love triangle (this will be used on guys, who should get visions of Twilight in their heads and back away, immediately.)

3. Life as told by the household plant.

4. A re-interpretation of the Odyssey, in the age of Facebook.

5. A zombie love triangle.

If you are a gay Star Trek fan, you are going to love Into Darkness.  The whole movie is basically a love song between Kirk and Spock.

They start with a quarrel:

Possibly some jealousy issues:

And then, in the usual course of Hollywood taking over science fiction, there’s a severe over-simplification of engine mechanics and spaceflight. Lots of big red stop buttons, running through corridors on tilted camera angles, and a scene where we are expected to believe that Kirk needs to kick a piece of machinery to restore full power to the Enterprise. Seriously?? That works? I knew my mechanic was ripping me off.

Kirk and Spock reconcile:

It’s very sweet, and much more believable than his reconciliation with Uhura. Do they look happy? No, they don’t look happy:

Then Spock goes forth to avenge his lover, er, captain:

And, well, I think I’ve given away enough of the plot already and we know it’ll all work out in the end, so you can put the rest together for yourself. Whatev’s. Pine, Quinto, and Cumberbatch are all pretty fine, so I don’t mind watching them sweat over each other for a few hours. There’s a great chase scene which is nothing more than gratuitous Quinto-butt-ogling.

It would be nice to see the female characters do more than have Daddy issues and shoot phasers in mini-skirts, but apparently in the year 27billion Scotty also still runs around with a flip cell phone so I guess the future’s not all that advanced.

1. It’s Sunday.

2. This means all places of business are closed in Germany, save elusive ‘special’ Kaisers which will open, seemingly at will and at random, for four hours on a Sunday afternoon.

3. This is not that Sunday afternoon.

4. Normally not a big deal, except I am out of pasta. Actually, I’m out of just about everything – the fridge has a half stick of cucumber and some ginger root – but I do have the cupboard staples needed to make a cheap, basic, super garlicky marinara sauce.

5. Except for the pasta, meant to be a vehicle for the garlic.

6. That stinks. (Both the kitchen and the lack of pasta, which is like the only cupboard staple you should never run out of, ever, and how did I forget this lesson from my college years??)

7. Guess I’m going to a späti. In sweatpants. Ignoring looks from kids out buying beer on their way to the bar, which is what the späti is for.

8. Happy Mother’s Day. 

9. That seems ironic, in a way I can’t quite put my finger on.

They do. Travel writing in general is annoying, and I don’t just mean the useless-but-I-go-nowhere-without-it Lonely Planet guidebooks. There’s a great quote by a British author who’s name temporarily eludes me – something to the effect of travel being mostly comprised of delay and waiting in line. It’s true. Travel is getting buggered and lost and itchy with a million fears and diseases, but we write about it as if it’s covered in shiny happy goop.

I’ve written blogs before, and yes, some of them were travel blogs. That goop is fine for showing off Thailand pictures to your mom’s best friend, but it’s the literary equivalent of romantic comedies: tidy, sanitized, unrealistic, and boring as fuck.  I feel this way about a lot of Berlin-based expat blogs. They think everything is great; they make small jokes about the bureaucratic struggles of living abroad; they do have good coffee shop recommendations. But I find they meld; the humor is mild and inoffensive and unremarkable. (Maybe I just find most people to be this way, and the poor blogs are only a reflection.)

Where was I going with this? Oh, right, this blog. Well, this blog probably won’t be much better. I have a strong internal censor and a pretty thick brain to mouth filter from a lifetime of learned polite behavior, but I’m trying to be more raw and honest and scratchy.

This blog is less about writing in Berlin than it is about writing without a filter. I say ‘uncensored’, but I do not mean hedonistic party animal debauchery tales. A lot of writing life is solitary; a lot of writers don’t like talking to strangers even when we do make it out of the house. We’re bookworms, shy, better at character development than building real-live relationships. We’re inward and cranky and seem to celebrate our dependence on caffeine.

But we also narrate constantly. We think a lot but most of the time, those thoughts get filed away in “not suitable for public consumption”. Blogs are a great catch-all for useless crap of the mind, but it’s like singing: you sing in an empty room before you perform for an audience.

Actually, it’s closer to 3.

Berlin has the sort of nightlife you don’t associate with German efficiency. You meet up with friends around 11, hit the club by 2 at the earliest, and the cool kids just take a nap and roll up to Berghain at 6 am. It’s an insomniacs wet dream, in a way – can’t sleep? Well, nothing is closed.

My body seems to recognize that it’s Friday (despite the fact that I don’t, um, work), and further seems to think that sleep before Saturdays dawn is a colossal waste of time. And I’m like, I fed you bitch! I gave you booze and took you out – who says we never go anywhere? Now go the fuck to sleep.

There’s a cranky toddler in me (and toddlers like to dance), but the adult here would like to be able to speak in something above a hoarse whisper tomorrow. So I started this blog instead. You’re welcome, interwebs.