In my skin

I’ve talked quite a bit about my depression/SAD here, but until a few years ago, if someone had asked me about my health, I probably would have instantly thought of my skin.

My relationship with my skin has been fraught. I was born with dermatitis and broke out in nasty itchy eczema in reaction to all sorts of foods. The food allergies were annoying, but the skin thing was worse. The allergies became better (or rather, the food stuff decreased, and my hayfever increased), but my skin still broke out in reaction to other things. Mostly stress but also environmental factors. And there is not much that’s more awful than feeling as if you’re stuck in the prison of your own skin.

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Blogging resolution…

In August I had to move, away from my beautiful apartment on the top floor of a church. Now I live in one of Zurich’s most… interesting areas, Kreis 4, also known among locals as “Chreis Chaib” (approx. “Circle Naughty”). Every day I walk along the (in)famous Langstrasse on my way to work, past sex shops, bars, drug dealers, drunks, but also past people just like me, living in their lives here – families, single professionals, people from every corner of the world.

So, because I’ve neglected this blog shamefully, let me try something: Every day that I’m around I’ll post an observation I make as I go about my life. It can be one sentence or a paragraph, but I’ll attempt to do it most days, at least on work days. And let’s dig right in:

One thing I love about this part of town is that it’s a proper “quarter”. People walk, people cycle, people sit in front of cafés or just on a bench somewhere, just living. Kids on their way home from school, passing the sex shops without a second glance; a guy in a business suit cycling past the tired-looking woman in high heels and a low-cut shirt at 8 in the morning; giggling girls shooting glances at a gang of boys as they wait for the bus; a guy trying to bum a cigarette because the kiosk is still closed; old men (also some young ones, women too) drinking beer from cans at every hour of the day; the woman cleaning the sidewalk in front of the café she works in every morning. And in between, there’s me. Living.

Postscript: I finally bought the lovely Ingrid Michaelson‘s new album, “Everybody” – and oh, it’s worth every penny. Her music is just PRETTY, in the best possible way. I do hope she’ll add a Swiss date to her upcoming tour!

Jason Mraz concert report

Jason Mraz in Zurich . Jason Mraz in Zurich . Jason Mraz in Zurich

Had an awesome time at the concert on March 30 – Jason does amazing shows! Opening act this time was Norwegian singer Marit Larsen, cute as a button. Flickr tag and slideshow (in false chronological order):

I had fun with my shiny new camera, a Panasonic Lumix TZ-5 (which made some girls behind me so jealous they came up to me afterwards and wanted the model *g*). I also uploaded a bunch of little movies to Youtube. Enjoy! 🙂

Songs of 2008

With all the traveling I’ve been doing there are more songs that I remember listening to again and again than normal, even considering that I already made a mix for my time in New Zealand.

As always all picks are songs I’ve added to my library this year, so no long-time favorites or re-discoveries. Also, please note how I restrained myself when it came to bandom bands, most particularly Fall Out Boy… *g*

Alphabetically sorted because I cannot possibly rank them.

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Merry Christmas!

Hope all of you are celebrating in the way you want to and with people you love!

As a little gift, here’s the soundtrack to ‘Love Actually’: (.zip, 77mb)

Btw, Coldplay are offering a remix of ‘Viva la Vida’ on their website. Here’s a mirror:

An album that has eaten my brain

Last Sunday, Fall Out Boy’s latest, Folie à Deux (due out Dec 15/16), leaked – and because I’ve been waiting with baited breath, downloading every song they made available on iTunes (American store, but this is the internet, after all… *g*) and pre-ordering a fancy superduper deluxe package, I had no qualms at all to get it. I’ve been listening to it on repeat ever since and still get goosebumps several times every listen…

Favorites: Headfirst Slide Into Cooperstown On A Bad Bet, The (Shipped) Gold Standard, (Coffee’s for Closers), What a Catch, Donnie, 27 – which, funnily enough, all follow one another on the album. But really, I love every single track.

Fall Out Boy - Folie à Deux

Fall Out Boy - Folie à Deux

I’m not a music geek. These are just random thoughts I had while listening. You’ve been warned. 🙂

So Pete wasn’t pulling our leg when he said that there’s no personal laundry being washed on this album – it’s really mostly about the strange, slightly schizophrenic relationships between media and celebrities, celebrities and fans, fans and media, plus some political commentary thrown in. It’s also very reminiscent of 80s bands in many ways. Me likey, me likey a lot, but you knew that already, so let’s get cracking on the details… *g*

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Oh HAI, American elections…

Have been on a bit of a Jon Stewart kick the past few days. I’ve gotten into the habit of listening to audiobooks on my way to and from work, as I can’t read on the bus into town – and one of the books was America (The Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction by said Jon Stewart, which totally reminded me why I love that guy and his brain. (I get ‘brain crushes’ sometimes, on seriously smart and funny people like Stephen Fry or Neil Gaiman.)

So I decided to see if I couldn’t find a place to watch The Daily Show, which I’d caught in New Zealand a few times (it aired on the music channel C4 there, on the same day as the US, thanks to the international date line) – and ‘lo and behold, you can actually watch the episodes on the show’s official website, no matter where you live! See, that’s why I love the internets… 🙂

And following Jon Stewart of course also means following Obama – I actually remember hearing about Obama’s speech on race on The Daily Show in March:

And, because it’s less than one week until the elections are finally here, let me be the last person on this planet to post the “Yes We Can” video, because it’s a lot of fun to play “name the celeb” (and because it is a seriously awesome speech, too):

Okay, enough politics for this blog, I promise! (Actually, in the past – during the 2004 elections, as a matter of fact – I caught serious flak from an “online friend” because I dared to have an opinon about American politics – but, although I’m not American and don’t live in the US, I think it’s safe to say that American politics affect the whole world. Sometimes with… rather tragic consequences.) Umm yes. This was supposed to be a simple squee post about Jon Stewart, but there you go. *g*

New Snow Patrol album

Have loved this Irish/Scottish band for years, so of course I had to get their new CD, A Hundred Million Suns, off iTunes the moment it was released yesterday… The singer just has the loveliest voice that goes perfectly with their brittle gentlesoft rhythms and melodies.

Snow Patrol – The Golden Floor:

Now I just hope they’ll come on tour so I can see them live!

Two very awesome but totally different YouTube vids

Because I still haven’t gotten around to that proper post with photos and news and everything, have at least these two videos that made me smile today:

First, there’s the dorktastically fantastic “It’s Almost Halloween” song by Panic at the Disco that had me falling off my chair laughing.

And then there’s the International “Stand By Me” from Playing for Change, which simply blew my mind – musicians from all over the world playing together, each one in their home country…