Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bremen in Retrospect II

I forgot to mention that on the train on our way to Bremen we met a really cool German-Dutch filmmaker, Haiko. We talked a lot about cultural differences between countries:


Thanks for the film, Haiko! We really enjoyed it. To check out his work, visit http://www.haikorickhoff.com.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Bremen in Retrospect I

Back from Bremen! G and I had a great time in Bremen, and it's back to the normal routine in Berlin again.

We'd initially intended to get some work done in Bremen, but of course, it didn't happen (it never does). I even brought my computer so I can update my blog everyday about what I was doing, but no. I really should learn. And stop trying. I'm also ridiculously uninspired when I'm away on holiday (I guess my mind just shuts off) and I only ever seem to be able to write anything when I'm sitting at home--I would make a terrible travel blogger.
Anyway, early on Thursday G drove us to Dangast, a little village on the coast close to the North Sea. By the time we got there, the tide was pretty low so it looked like this:

And yes, in case you're wondering, that is a penis.
We walked around the vast and pretty (and mushy--although we didn't actually walk in it ourselves) Wattenmeer, picnicked, napped, and harassed sheep.

Endless dike dotted with sheep, sheep, sheep, and more sheep (and sheep poo).
Not a single sheep let us pet/cuddle/touch/get near it. Bah.
The weather was windy and gorgeous, but the clouds soon started to look ominous, so we headed back to Bremen early in the afternoon.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Bremen

Coming to you from G's parents' house in Bremen! Bremen is a super cute green city with beautiful buildings and delicious and cheap Hachez chocolate. I've been on an intense eating and German-speaking spree (or listening, rather; it takes me way too long to understand and react that by the time I actually go to say something, I'm already two conversation topics behind. My brain is on fire. I hope they don't think I'm slow. I keep thinking about how much quicker I would be to understand jokes and to make comments if it were in English and wanting to say, "I'm really not as stupid as I look!". I'm just too self-conscious. Anyway, in conclusion: my German needs serious work!)

But yes. I've been offline for three whole days and I had been coping with Internet-less-ness surprisingly well until I started thinking about my blog last night. It's okay if I take a 3-day break from my blog. But I get antsy. Hence I've shooed G out of the room (I really can't write when people are watching) for this frantic update.

Anyway. This is a little cartoon I drew last week about the time I went to a Slipknot concert (nb: I'm not a metal fan) with R, W, and B when we were 19. R lost his glasses lens in the mosh pit and we spent a good half an hour or so walking around the empty venue looking for his lens. There were at least half a dozen other people doing the same thing as us. Haha.


Long-awaited Lange Nacht der Museen tonight in Bremen! Also going running in an hour, and I'm shocked to find myself really excited about it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

間 and Spaces

Spending a good part of the day doing my German homework and some other work that needs to be taken care of. Unfortunately not much cartoon-drawing, so I thought I'd share the flip book I made as a part of my uni application.



video

Woo hooey! And it's back to work.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Something

Hello hello and Happy Monday!

Whenever I don't check my mail for over 12 hours, I start to get antsy and worried that something important's come in and I'm going to be in trouble because I didn't attend to it immediately. I never know what this something might be, but something.

The truth is, I don't really get anything hugely important or urgent in my inbox anymore, so I can stop freaking out already.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ersatzverkehr

Phew! It's still Sunday. Time for a proper cartoon, as promised.

"Moments of Linguistic Breakthrough," inspired by my classmate L:


Also related:

I just got home after having to change from train to bus to train to train because stupid U7 and U6 are under construction. The route usually takes me 15 minutes on a good day, but it took me an entire hour tonight. I had also misunderstood the in-train announcement and forgot to change trains, and ended up being taken back to the station I'd come from and starting all over again. Well, so much for my linguistic breakthrough. Bof.

Still. All in all a good Sunday.

7 Months!

Happy 7 Months to Bonsai! I'm quite impressed that I've been able to keep this going for this long, somehow.

Proper update when it's actually morning. Gute Nacht!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Zoos around the World

Did I mention I love zoos? Here are some memorable tidbits from some zoos I've visited in the past . . .





Friday, May 20, 2011

Tierpark

I went to Tierpark (zoo in the former East) with my parents last week for the first time. I really like zoos and animals, and Tierpark in particular is a really fantastic, green zoo with lots of space for the animals as well as the visitors. I even got to pet a lemur! A fluffy, friendly, black-and-white ruffed lemur. All in all an excellent visit.

Anyway, my parents and I were hanging out by the reindeer when we spotted . . .


I suppose we would have reacted differently if we'd seen him in front of the puma cage or the elephant exhibit or the camel farm, but of course, he had to be checking out the reindeer. I'm sure he was scouting out the best reindeer for his sleigh for Team Christmas 2011. Ha!

Speaking of reindeer, this is probably the best 9-second video ever to have existed. I don't know of anything else that could make me laugh so hard in 9 second flat, over and over again. As a matter of fact, I don't even need to watch the video anymore . . . all I have to do it think about it and I start snickering.


Ahem. Okay. Time to go running now.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Groggy

Groggy afternoon update.

After coming to Germany, I've found quite a few similarities between German and Japanese people.

Well, okay, maybe I'm stereotyping, but I do think it's true in a lot of ways. In any case, we have more common qualities than either of us do with . . . say, Italians.

Off to class then!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Handy Dandy

Just came back from handing in my portfolio. That was it. That was the best I could do in three months time. I'll find out if I get invited back for an exam around the end of June. If there are no ecstatic/hysterical posts toward the end of June, that's probably because I'm sitting quietly in the corner of my room weeping. Haha! Well. All jokes aside, I'm glad it's finally out of my hands. Now I can start to relax . . . kind of. Will keep drawing and practicing, though.

I've also been playing around with the blog. Let me know if the new format is hard to read or distracting. The background is actually taken from a piece that I put in my portfolio.

Anywho! Today's comic is inspired by Tze's post "Always handy to have chopsticks." Tze is a Dutch cartoonist of Taiwanese descent living and working in Frankfurt. I stumbled onto her blog from a link on the octopus pie website, and got excited when I found lots of commonalities between us (female Asian polyglots of multicultural background living in Germany and drawing webcomics, in short). She draws and writes about food, cultures, sweets, more food, and a variety of episodes in her daily life. I'm always impressed at how well thought-out her stories and sophisticated her style is---sorry if I've unconsciously stolen any ideas/techniques! Anyway, this comic deals with a common theme of ours---random moments when we're reminded that we're, well, Asians. haha. Anyway, go check out her blog!


Oh, and the model of the woman with glasses is a former boss of mine. She's American, but she's lived in Japan for nearly 40 years now and is, well, pretty much Japanese in a lot of ways. I just couldn't stop smiling at how cute she looked when she was making us tea and dipped her old cooking chopsticks (saibashi) into the kettle to fish out the tea bag. One of those moments when you forget that she's actually American.

Righty. Off to enjoy the rest of my day. I'm going to allow myself to have guilt-free fun today, and then it's back to German homework and drawing tomorrow!

Jesus. Long enough post, eh?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Status Update

So there are Facebook voyeurists, but there are also Facebook exhibitionists who provoke the stalkers by unnecessarily sharing private details. It's like trying not to stare when your neighbor's prancing around her living room naked with the lights on at night.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Have a Break

I think I might be finished with my Aufgabe. Or almost finished. I'm waiting for the ink to dry while listening to the Eels. I think I'll go running now to clear my head.

Btw, there are some awesomely-flavoured snacks in Germany. I bought a bag of Schinkengeschmack chips (corn chips? some kind of corn-based snack), and it tasted exactly like what bacon would taste like it if it were in chip form.


That being said, I don't know if any country can beat Japan in totally bizarro-flavoured snacks. I just ran a quick Google search for limited edition Kitkat bars, and I found crème brulée, ramune (basically Sprite), strawberry shortcake, cherry-blosson-maccha-green-tea, brown-sugar-and-kinako-soy-powder, candied sweet potato, soy sauce, wasabi, coke, strawberry cheesecake, "European" cheese, mandarin, orange-and-chocolate, muscat grape, apple, yuzu-citrus-and-pepper, banana, miso, honeydew melon, taro, chili, peach . . . yes.

Actually, I found the link to the official Japanese KitKat website with a list and photos of some of the weird flavours they have. I imagine it would be a fun job to engineer new KitKat flavours. Ha!

Oh, Japan.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Like a Man

Bonus update! Happy Sunday!

Spring Clean

Ack! I missed a day again! Blargh. I'll try to do a double update today (one more later on in the day) to make up for it.

Ooh, we got tickets for Brecht's Die Dreigroschenoper today. My first Brecht, ever! Definitely am going to need to do some pre-reading and researching so I'm not completely confused. So exciting!

I've actually been on a pretty good streak comic-wise. I've been good about actively collecting comic material. The thing is, I write things down on random pieces of paper---electronics manuals, U-bahn tickets, corners of homework handouts, inside of textbooks, backs of supermarket receipts---so I often don't find my notes until I start cleaning out my bag or my room:


It's like finding money you hid in your room and forgot about. Awesome!

More awesomes here: http://1000awesomethings.com/

Friday, May 13, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Not punny

Whoops. Sorry I missed a day! My mom had a (not serious) operation yesterday so it was a slightly hectic day with little time at the computer. But yes. My Mac is back now; I've lost all my data but it's nice to go back to using my own computer after more than a month. I find myself still trying to use PC shortcuts and stuff, though. I guess this will take a little getting used to again.

G was sad because I never laugh at his puns . . . although I actually laughed at this one.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Constant Struggle

I'm always extnding my hand or opening my arms or reaching for a kiss when I'm not supposed to. A multikulti life results in funny, awkward moments. Although nothing has been more awkward than having a guy kiss the hand that I extended to shake his with. He had to flip my hand horizontally and then yank it up (because my arm was so rigid). Urk. Sorry.


No wait, I'm not sorry! It totally wasn't my fault!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sloth Hug

Groggy morning non-proper-comic update.

I've never hugged a sloth, but I imagine that there's no sad feeling in the world that can't be assuaged with a good, slow sloth hug.
I dream of sloth hugs.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Heuschnupfen

Hay fever -> itchy eyes -> rubbing itchy eyes -> new wrinkles around eyes -> look older?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Morgen!

I generally don't draw cartoons of other people's anecdotes, but this one was too cute and Amelie-esque! I just hope it makes sense...

B was coming home from dancing in the wee hours in the morning when she passed by some guy on the street...


Right. Back to work now.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Jeans

Working on a test version of my final Aufgabe. Reaaally slow, but kind of fun.



Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mamas Faible

Spent the day preparing my portfolio. I've finally selected (well, select isn't really the right word, since I barely had enough works) the final 20 pieces to go into the portfolio. I got photos printed of all the three-dimensional pieces, mounted them on paper, and put them in as well. It all took much longer than expected, but at least the portfolio is pretty much ready to go. All I need to focus on now is getting the Aufgabe done. And drawing more comics, of course!

Anywho. I also just came back from grocery shopping with my mom. I kept having to drag her away from sweets and boxes labeled "free gift inside," which reminded me of this episode:


This was in Saudi. Saudi was the land of the weirdest combinations of "free gifts." I remember buying a lot of sliced cheese because my mom wanted the Looney Tunes glasses that came with it. We also bought a giant bag of Uncle Ben's rice once because it came with a knife. Knife? Rice? Um, okay.

I have no idea what we did with the six bottles of ketchup. We don't even use that much ketchup. Maybe we just gave them away . . .

Anyway, German classes resume today. Level C2, here I come! (eep) I hope the new people in my class are nice.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Crazies of Kensington

Spent a long time at the doctor's office with my mom today. While sitting around in the waiting room watching the motion sensor lights go on and off (for no reason. There is enough light in the room. I'm convinced it's just there to distract the patients.), I started to think about the really eccentric people who lived (and probably still live) in Kensington Market in Toronto. The three that immediately came to mind were these:
First is the middle-aged Green Mohawk Guy. He was probably the nicest of the three (this is based on the fact that he said hi (or otherwise acknowledged her existence) when Z said hi). He usually hung around on the corner of Augusta and Baldwin with some other buddies. I'm not sure how old he is or what he does, but there was an air about him that seemed to me like he owned that corner of Kensington.  Badass but relatively approachable.

And then there's the Cat Man. Also middle-aged, but he was a little less approachable than GMG, mostly because he usually walked around the market yelling at people or grumbling incoherently to himself. He always wore a giant backpack, on which two or three leashed cats sat napping. The idea of a man walking around with cats on leashes is cute . . . but I generally tried to stay out of his way.

Finally, there's the Bicycle Lady. She had floofy blonde hair, pointy sunglasses, and a polka-dotted fur coat and rode around the market on a tiny bicycle. She yelled at my mom for staring at her once. (Fair enough; my mom has a tendency to ogle.) Slightly aggressive, but generally harmless, methinks.

I imagine Kensington's already changed a lot in the last three years, but I'd like to go back one day . . .