Black Sunshine – through the years

This will be a short one. And full of clichés, so bear with me.

When I was 14, I discovered that, contrary to my classmates’ beliefs, there was more to music than N’Sync and the Backstreet Boys. Thank God.

My hometown’s music scene leaned heavily towards Rock and Metal, no pun intended. So I went to every gig there was, best friend in tow, staring doe-eyed at the guys and girls on stage – one eye always on the clock, lest I broke curfew.

Fast forward 17 years to last night.

My first real night out in… a too embarrassingly long time. I stood there, beer in hand, no curfew in sight and simply enjoyed my first “Black Sunshine” concert in 13 years.

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And it was good.

Not just the music, though I immensely enjoyed that. More the certainty that no one would call out “Mama” and I would have to stop anything I was doing at a moment’s notice.

I talked to old friends and aquaintances, met new ones, stood in people’s cigarette smoke and enjoyed the beer on their breath, simply for the novelty of it not being milk…

And then, at one a.m. I called it a night, hugged my friends and drove home to find my husband and daughter knocked out from the exertion of a sleepless evening. And it was good, even though duty called again at 6:30 and I was nowhere near being well-rested. Life is good.

13.11.2015

Today, on social media, I haven’t stopped talking about last night’s events. I don’t suppose I will anytime soon.

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A small number of “people” have caused millions of people a lot of pain. Presumably all in the name of a god that I can’t believe would condone this.

The attacks that hit closest to home for me ar those on Bataclan. I’ve visited hundreds of rock shows, from small venues to big halls and again and again I think “it could have been me”.  And, in a way, it was. Those more than 120 people were my sisters and brothers at heart. They loved Rock’n’Roll just as much as I do, and they wanted to have a good time.

Those terrorists who brutally took their lives want us all to be afraid now. Afraid to go out and enjoy what we do, cower and fear ” what if?”

I, for one, won’t do it.

I hate that my daughter’s growing up in a world where insanity like this exists.

And I won’t stand for her being afraid.

Tonight, my hometown’s Cow Club celebrates 30 years of supporting young bands. And my friends, shocked and sad as they are, won’t stay home tonight, too afraid to go out. They will grab a drink and stand shoulder to shoulder with their friends and defy last night’s killers by doing what they will always be doing – enjoy their freedom and do whatever the heck they want to.

Bergisch’ Land Beauty – Sengbachtalsperre

Am Samstag hat es mich mit Freunden nach draußen gezogen, in den Wald, ans Wasser, an die Luft – weg aus unseren Wohnzimmern, die uns in den nächsten Wochen noch genug zu sehen bekommen. Weg von Bildschirmen jeglicher Art, weg vom Haushalt mit seinen kleinlichen Aufgaben, so nervig wie notwendig…

Einfach nur raus, raus, raus aus dem Haus, zu fünft rein in das Auto, lachend und durcheinander redend in Richtung Glüder, dahin, wo früher das Getaway zu finden war.

Das übliche Gefummel mit Smartphones und Runkeeper, parallele Dehnübungen und kopfüber ins Gebüsch – beinahe.

Was folgte war eine Achterbahn von “Wow, hast du den Pilz gesehen?”

1382170708860über “Klar, und du den Feen-Baumstumpf da?”

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bis zu “Oh Gott, bitte nein, da kommt ja schon wieder ein Berg…”

Das ist der Fluch und der Segen im Bergischen Land: Wenn man darin unterwegs ist, muss man mit voller Kraft so einige Hügel hoch. Doch schafft man das, Schnappatmung hin oder her, wird man belohnt.

Und zwar grandios.

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Und wenn man auf seiner Runde zum zweiten (!) Mal vom gleichen Jogger überholt wird, lässt auch das Selbstmitleid ob der drohenden Seitenstiche schlagartig nach…

Sieht man dann am Ende die ganz beachtliche Runde auf seinem Smartphone, bleibt doch ein wenig Stolz. Und ja, auch etwas Muskelkater in den Beinen – aber der ist schließlich das sportliche Äquivalent von “picture or it didn’t happen”, right?

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Solinger Jugendkulturfestival 2013 – Patrick Salmen, oder: die Späten bestraft das Leben!

Bei einem Mittagessen im Nordstadt Café kam mir dieser Flyer in die Hände:

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Hurra, dachte ich, Patrick Salmen kommt wieder in seine alte Heimat!

Ich wollte mir nicht von 18:00 bis 22:00 Uhr am Rathausplatz die Beine in den Bauch stehen und horchte also nach, wann in etwa der Auftritt sei. “Gegen 20:00 Uhr” hieß es – also trafen wir erst um kurz vor acht ein, um festzustellen: Salmen war schon in vollem Gange, hatte er doch schon um halb 8 gestartet.

Mist, wie Bernd das Brot sagt.

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Wir bekamen also nur noch die letzten, knapp 10 Minuten mit. Und fragten uns: wo sind die ganzen Jugendlichen? Der Altersdurchschnitt im Publikum lag bei Mitte 20; ich hatte eigentlich eine strahlende Horde weiblicher Teenies erwartet, die sehnsüchtig den bärtigen Mann anstarren.

Ich selbst habe zwischen 15 und 18 jedes Jugendkulturfestival besucht und wäre total froh gewesen, mir einen deutschen Poetry-Slam Meister ansehen zu dürfen – darf man hier so eine alte Phrase wie “Was ist los mit der Jugend von heute?” verwenden?

Gab es eine große Konkurrenzveranstaltung? Ist das Marketing gescheitert?

Die, die da waren hatten jedenfalls viel Spaß – hoffen wir, dass der Axtträger uns bald noch mal besucht – und den Teens eine zweite Chance gibt.

 

The King and the Cobra

Marcel Krüger asked us to stop coming to his house, so people went to the Cobra instead.

In early November Krüger had his first self-published book coming out, which compiled stories from his blog, his project Sonic Iceland and even some articles that had previously been published in real newspapers.

 

 

What better way to celebrate than to return to his hometown, from which he’d fled several years ago in search of ginger maidens and Guiness. Luck had it that a festival was planned for Lindisfarne‘s 12th anniversary, so Mr. Krüger packed his bags and book and came running. At least I guess he did, knowing about his fear of flying. And he took the opportunity to re-unite with his old band Stuck, albeit going easy on the bellowing to save some strength for 8 p.m. when the Cobra’s cinema room’s door would open for his reading.

 

In the beginning Krüger seemed a bit tense, no wonder for not only was his family sitting in the first row, complete with parents, two brothers and his girlfriend, the rest of the small room was filled with old friends who had come to hear some stories first-hand.

 

 

But he quickly seemed to adapt to the scene and started to read about an eclectic mix of topics, from expats in Irelands to his above mentioned fear of flying and spiders. Since his book is written exclusively in English, Krüger translated some of his work so that the less capable German wouldn’t get lost in an English swirl.

 

 

Having read the stories before it was interesting to discover new aspects to them by way of Krüger’s introductions or intonation.

And even though the scene itself might have been nicer had the reading been in the Cobra’s Kantine, the room’s atmosphere of good will towards the author was tangible, which was really nice to experience. Whatever face I looked at either seemed just happy to see Mr. Krüger back on German soil, intrigued by his stories or smiling at his snarky side-remarks.

The evening was rounded off with a “cover” reading of Neil Gaiman’s “The day the saucers came” and his “Tale of two Spiders”. It ended with Mr. Krüger, deservedly, selling some copies of his book and then, equally deservedly, retreating to the Kantine for a small family celebration of his first reading in Germany.

 

Something wicked this way comes…

Monday left me exhausted from my HoD weekend and personal stuff. I was about to shoo all ghosts away, draw my drapes and call it a day.

I’m so glad I didn’t.

Instead I put on my big-girl-pants, figuratively speaking, packed my bag and headed over to Blankbeins, make-up-central for the night.

My Halloween survival kit contained a pair of black wings, a black dress and some make-up. And a wig. So what if all the others bought them to get long, dark hair? I have those 365 days in a row, I wanted a wig, too.

At the Blankbeins the whole kitchen table was covered in little pots and crucibles, mirrors and wipes, scary sweets and powdered make-up.

 

 

From my time of arrival everyone got uglier from minute to minute. Hair and skin whitened, ulcerous postules appeared where beforehand was immaculate skin. Scars crossed bulging tissue and teeth were shown that would scare away the most hardened dentist.

Fortunately hem-seams didn’t rise, as our posse doesn’t believe the now so fashionable credo that “slutty is the new scary”. No sexy pumpkins, sexy witches or sexy hot-dogs here, thank-you-very-much!

 

 

To be honest, we had a sexy nurse, but she was foremost a scary nurse (think of a certain game that became a movie relatively recently) and just couldn’t help the sexy part.

 

 

After all the painting, forming and playing around was done we were left with a fabulous ensemble.

We had a delirious monk that looked pestilence-ridden, a clown worse than the house of 1000 corpses, a strangled ghost bride, a scary Chucky-esque doll, a regular zombie and an one-armed one. With the scary nurse and my fallen-angel self we were quite the sight.

Good thing that we ordered some pizza, we may be undead, but we’re still hungry. Now, where’s my small brain-pizza with extra pus?

 

 

This year’s Halloweenparty at the Getaway wasn’t free for costumed guests like it had been the previous year, but admittance wasn’t too steep.

Upon our arrival at half past 10 not many guests were there yet, and even less dressed up.

The venue itself looked marvelous.

 

 

 

(all darkness and no tripod make

Liz a dull photographer)

Really too bad that most guests were either too uptight or lazy for a costume… their loss, really!

 

 

The first few hours of the night really rocked, the DJ delivered the tunes and we danced our undead asses off.

More people showed up in costumes and the place got quite crowded – except the “cocktail bar” where we stayed all night. Most of the other guests seemed to prefer their mainstream-sheep-music to our rocking beats. Again, their loss, our gain. At least we still had breathing room. Figuratively speaking, since the cocktail bar is the Get’s only smoker’s room.

 

As one shitty song started to follow the next the evening turned long and my legs heavy.

Because my Hammer of Doom weekend left me cash-less I was on a tight budget of 10 Euros, six of which I had already spent on the entrance fee. I was down to 2 Euros and the Getaway didn’t promise any more entertainment we hadn’t had enjoyed up until that point, it was already about half past one. So most of us decided to head on over to the RED, to undertake part two of the traditional “Get – RED – bed” routine.

Over there we were greeted by a handfull of customers, not one in costume as far as I could see, and the two owners. They had candy, horror movies and intricately carved pumpkins, definetely an upgrade to Get’s simply carved ones.

 

 

 

I certainly wouldn’t want that last guy to visit me that night!

Exhaustion made us take our heads hats and head home, to fall into bed and be dead until dark sunrise.

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Postscript I:

I will add more scary pictures of the posse once I have permission.

 

Postscript II:

This is your chance for the first “Liz is Sparta” give-away.

The person to guess all references to  scary popculture books or movies is in for a special treat.

Winners will be drawn out of all participants who post their guess in the comment-section.

 

Doom: a scientific approach. Part I

 

As we’re walking towards the Posthalle in Würzburg, I know I’m neither over- nor underdressed.

I’m basically not dressed wrong, either, it’s that my attire simply just so misses the mark, as I’m comparing my outfit to that of others around me.

I am dressed in black, sure. And wearing a skirt. But, though above the knee, it is still a couple of inches too long. At least compared to the skirts belts I see other ladies in. And mine has white polka-dots.

Oh well.

My black high-top sneakers aren’t helping my case, either, as the other girls’ shoes make up in inches what the length of their skirts is lacking. Darn it.

We’re standing in line to swap our tickets for festival-bands, basked in beerfumes and eau-de-I-haven’t showered-in-days. Behind us are a couple of guys that remind me of Garth and would later inspire me to the following textmessage to my brother:

 

“Remeber Wayne’s World? That’s what this looks like”

 

 

They are all acting very civilised and make me wonder what I was worrying about earlier, when posting on facebook:

Lisa Prosch is looking forward to Hammer of Doom with Nick, Leo and Maria!

Hopefully they will take care of her and protect her against the hordes of Doom!”

to which I was friendly reminded:

“Remember WE ARE THE HORDES OF DOOM!!!:D”

Ooops! My mistake.

I never made it a secret that I’m a doom novice. Sure, I’ve heard about some of the bands that would be playing. But what doom exactly was, I wanted to find out. Besides being the perfect opportunity for catching up with our Maltese Posse, Hammer of Doom posed the possibilty for a scientific endeavor:

Finding out what doom is, first-hand, and observing, maybe even inter-acting, with the common “doomster”.

And finding out if you call doom-listeners “doomsters”, anyway.

Before travelling to Würzburg I had a vague picture in mind of how such a guy would look. I envisioned long, dark hair, lots of leather, possibly tight pants and an overall mean appearance.

I googled for a picture to show you what I thought of, but all I found was this:

 

 

Yes Google, that’s a metal-fan, thank you for your help!

Most of the guys crowding the Posthalle weren’t as scary as I had imagined. I wasn’t new to metal concerts, as I had visited quite a few in Rock City No.1, and the mixture of species I encountered were what I had expected.

There were those of the “Metallus Blackus” type, with tight black leatherpants and long dark hair, as I described above. Kind of like these guys, who named themselves after a bloodtype:

Then we had the common Viking type, hair as long and blond as that of a Northern Maiden, soft and shiny in most cases. Terrifying. The “Vicus Northernitis” seems to have a practical demeanor and carries his own drinking horn attached to his hip, so that he does not have to drink out of unworthy plastic cups. He may warm his chest either with denim or fur and his legs and groin-area tend to have more breathing room than the above mentioned species.

When I heard that Vikings would be attending, I was hoping for guys like him:

 

 

And was deeply disappointed. No Erics around. I got these guys instead:

 

 

and actually enjoyed them. Though they fall more into the “Epic Metal” category, as I learned.

There were lots of those fans around, clad in denim wests covered in patches. Or just lots of patches with glimpses of denim inbetween. I even saw one guy with a pants covered in patches. There were so many that you couldn’t make out the original trousers anymore. It made me wonder what he would do if he gained so much weight that the pants wouldn’t fit anymore. Remove them all and transfer them to another pair? Or just add another row of patches in the top, to make more room for the belly? I will never know.

My favourite patch of all the weekend was a very scary one, though.

 

 

(Excuse my cellphone’s crappy pic, they wouldn’t allow my Nikon at the venue)

 

The female metal-head basically fell into two types (except my lovely Maltese friends):

  1. The “Metallus Bitchus”
  2. The “Metallus Butchus”

The former I already described in this post’s beginning, all short skirts, high heels and low shirts. And loooong hair. Most of them looked really good in their stuff and were ogled by all the male species mentioned above.

These ladies get quite close, though those that I witnessed looked somehow classier, even dressed that skimpily:

 




The “Metallus Butchus” got less attention, but had the advantage of being able to move freely through the crowd and could flip through the merch at leisure, not being interrupted by drunken advances. Their long, loose cargo-pants and jeans vests just didn’t seem to attract as much attention as the mini-skirts of the “Metallus Bitchus”.

 

 (This is the first part of my doom-tastic encounter at the Hammer of Doom, stay tuned for Part II)




Among friends

All I see is rotten bodies with a greenish hue. Dripping eyeballs and flaking skin.

Their sounds are scary, crunching bones mingled with moaning that would be heartbreaking, came it not from an undead, no longer a person.

They are shuffling, some with missing limbs, all of them dirty and probably stinking like the sixth circle of hell.

Now they have smelled something, they shift their bodies and cock their heads, sniffing, searching. They are hungry, closing in.

 

 

 

I’m pulling my blanket up, on the verge of being afraid.

But these are my old friends, surrounding me.

And not only the undead, though they have shared my life for quite some time now.

I mean the others. My husband, to my left, holding my hand. My newest friend to my right, leaning in to my old friend, her husband-to-be, squeaking at the Walkers when I am.

Last our glassblower to the front, protector of the fire.

 

I can’t put my finger on it, but something about the combination of Undead, old friends and various snacks makes my heart heavy. In a good way.

 

 

 

Mrs. Prosch’s Olde Bakery X: Lemon Curd

It’s been awhile since my last baking extravaganza in May, when I baked the infamous rainbow cake. A lot has happened since then, albeit not on the baking front. For one, I am now maid of honour to the rainbow-cake-birthdaygirl! And I was asked to bake the couple’s wedding cake to which I answered:

“Challenge accepted!”

Which has been followed by sleepless nights and moments of “I can’t do this, was I crazy to say yes?”, followed by other moments when I was like “Kowabunga, I got this!”.

But this is not about the wedding cake, there will be posts about that, once the whole secrecy is over.

This is about my friend’s (semi-)annual DVD-girls-night and its culinary aspects. See, everyone brings something to the table. This year, to the surprise of everyone, I said: “I’ll bring a cake”. Surprising indeed 😉

I flicked through my recipes and found one for “lemon slices”, which sounded perfect for these late summer days we’ve been enjoying this week.

The recipe called for lemon curd (glass). Where the fudge can I get this? Certainly not in my regular supermarket. Heck, I thought, I’ll just make some.

After some googling I found “Joy of Baking” and this recipe. Not only did they tell my what lemon curd is, they also explained for what it is used, what aspects you’d have to be careful about and how long you can keep it in the fridge. Then, after explaining the whole procedure, they followed with a short and easy-to-understand instruction:



“Lemon Curd: In a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice until blended. Cook, stirring constantly (to prevent it from curdling), until the mixture becomes thick (like sour cream or a hollandaise sauce) (160 degrees F or 71 degrees C). This will take approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately pour through a fine strainer to remove any lumps. Cut the butter into small pieces and whisk into the mixture until the butter has melted. Add the lemon zest and let cool. The lemon curd will continue to thicken as it cools. Cover immediately (so a skin doesn’t form) and refrigerate for up to a week.

Makes 1 1/2 cups (360 ml).

Note: If you want a lighter lemon curd whip 1/2 cup (120 ml) of heavy whipping cream and fold into the lemon curd.

Source:

Sorosky, Marlene, Easy Entertaining with Marlene Sorosky, Harper Collins. New York: 1988.

Here’s the recipe, if you’re not lucky enough to attend our DVD night and might want to make some yourself:

Lemon Curd Recipe:

3 large eggs

3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar

1/3 cup (80 ml) fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons) (do not use the bottled lemon juice)

4 tablespoons (56 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 tablespoon (4 grams) finely shredded lemon zest

What stumped me for a second was the stainless steel bowl. I don’t have one of those! I ended up using a small pot on top of a bigger one with the hot water, and it worked just fine.

I whisked and whisked till the curd thickened and lost its see-through quality. It became a lovely, cloudy yellow and lost the foamy glaze it had before.

I was so excited to pour it into my little mason jar that I almost forgot to add the butter!



Good thing I have this funnel, otherwise I couldn’t have gotten the good stuff into the tiny jar



Once I had it all inside I added the soft butter I had forgotten  before and gave it a good stir. Fortunately, It hadn’t been too late.

Look at it: doesn’t it look like sunshine in a jar?



After posting this I’ll return to the kitchen to make the pie, which you’ll see in the next post. Its’ recipe only calls for three table spoons of lemon curd, so I’ll have to figure out what to do with the rest. Any suggestions?

Pentecost at Aggertal

Seasoned readers of my blog know that Hubby and I like camping, either near or far. Last year we visited beautiful Aggertal for the first time and both enjoyed it tremendously. We knew we had to go there again and after quite some planning and facebook-messaging we routed together most of the Solingen Zebra Ultras and went on the road.

Where to? Same place as last year, of course: Freizeitcamp Aggertalsperre.

And what did we do? Mostly hanging out, eating, playing, eating, and more hanging out.

Sure, some of us went swimming.

 

 

But we mostly hung around this nice fire

 

 

On the second day, some of us went on a little walk here, around the half-peninsula

 

 

where we stalked some guys in a canoe

 

 

on our way over here

 

 

Not to sound too creepy: those guys belonged to us :). And we didn’t threaten them, we merely cheered them on with our usual Ultras-cheer, which I can’t repeat over here.

The weekend was funny, exhausting, character-building, yummi, hot & cold, but most of all: a great experience!

Until next year!