Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Random Tuesday - Slightly Chauvinistic version

Yes lads and ladies, it's time for another round on the random wheel. It seems as though my life is all random these days, it's been a busy few weeks. But let's give this a go and see if the stuff rattling 'round in my head can make it out through my fingers without sounding toooooo crazy.

This year's holiday spot for the Snooker and No will be both Tahiti and New Zealand. We will meet a friend on Tahiti and spend a good bit of our time there underwater taking in the incredible sea life. This morning I had a COOL video link in my mail to give me an idea of what awaits us in the ultra-blue waters around the atoll Rangiroa... ahem, sharks... lots of sharks... and LARGE WAVES (yes, I know it is a bit silly of me to be a diver and yet get seasick in big waves, but that's JUST the way it is - stop laughing), and bottle nose dolphins, did I mention the sharks?

Oh, and other things that made my heart skip in the past week. I dragged took Sweet No to Beelitz-Heilstätten Sanatorium (official German website) which in the early 1900's was the largest hospital complex in Europe. The fun part... it has been abandoned for 19 years! You guessed it, creepy! Photos from a Flickr group.

How do you get into a boarded up and abandoned building? Well, you hope that some enterprising punks have been there before you and have "paved" the way. Usually a window or a door has been broken or pried away from the building allowing access. In the case of this building we managed to get into a cellar window.

May I just tell you that falling into who knows what in the dark, with little or no ambient light, and having forgotten an important urban exploration tool (flashlight), we were treated with quite a heart pounder. Sweet No and I were walking blindly around the huge basement of a rotting corpse of a building trying to find a safe set of stairs leading upward with nothing but our cameras as a light source. (note, if you are ever in a similar dark situation, press your camera's "take picture" button down halfway - this throws out a quite bright light which is supposed to check for focus. COOL and in this case, a life saver)

The rotating gif is me not so gracefully climbing out of one such window. And no, my jeans were not green... by this time of the day however they were quite dusty and still very blue. Gifs just suck that way.

We spent over two hours investigating just ONE BUILDING out of 60! Yes, it was illegal, yes it was like something out of a horror movie, yes we got dirty and dusty, (and the Monk side of No came out BIG TIME!) yes I filled up a 2GB memory card with photos which by and large remain unedited, yes I will post more of them Flickr, yes I will blog more about the entire experience, and YES it was FUN! I'm digging this urban exploration thing and will do it again.

I'm reading a book by R.J. Ellory named "A Simple Act of Violence" which is a crime-thriller wrapped around a secret program of the C.I.A. where trained killers are sent out to eradicate enemies, heads of state, up & coming people of power, and whoever else they deem necessary. The story itself goes back to Nicaragua and the Manuel Norriega scandal - Contras, drugs and Oliver North. How fracking interesting to see this crap popping into the news cycle all revolving around Puppetmaster Dick Cheney and his secret group of trained C.I.A. killers and how it was all kept on the lowdown by Tricky Dick II.

Sidenote... This book is excellent. I think I'm in love with this R.J. Ellory guy. The first book I read was "A Quiet Belief in Angels" which I think I sailed through in about 3 days - all of that while working and having a life.... I'm not sure I slept during that time.

Speaking of books that I inhaled... Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is coming out at the theaters this week!!! Whoo Hooo! Yes, I'm a total spaz. (see how easily I revert back to the 80's?) Yes, I already have my tickets. And YES I plan to see it more than once. Duh!

Prepare... I'm going to mention the King of Pop. For those wanting out, just skip to the next paragraph. OK, for those two still reading... We all know that Michael Jackson spent the last part of his life trying to keep the faces and lives of his children out of the media. Has anybody given it a second thought that over his dead body the kids were trotted out onto the stage at his memorial service... by his loving family? Isn't it interesting to find out that Prince (who names their kid that, come ON) and Paris are not biologically his?

On to other things which are happening this week which excite me yet probably don't do anything for anyone else... Berlin is getting its first HOOTERS! Yes, I know it is basically a shitty American restaurant known for its mega-breasted waitresses in orange spandex and required to wear hose no matter how hot it is. Yes, I know that it is a step backward on the evolutionary scale for womankind as a whole. But do you know that they have the best wings in this world?

OK, now it is official... I can stay in Berlin the rest of my life. No longer do I have to fill the refrigerators of my family with delectable hot wings every time I go back to visit the States... No longer do I have to explain my strange love of ranch dressing (not available in Germany) to my family. Now I can have my (10 hot and 10 three mile island, thank you) wings in the privacy of my own home! Whoo hooo! Don't hate me because of my love of GOOD WINGS!

In slightly related news: brothels (totally legal) in Germany are being hard hit by the crappy world-wide economy. As a promotion stunt, a Berlin brothel owner is offering a discount to anyone arriving by bicycle. What a riot!

Is anyone else worried that the U.S. Budget gap has now topped $1 trillion?

Speaking of lots of money going into the air... The Pyromusikale kept the skies close to my home quite bright and LOUD this past weekend. I live very close to the Airport Tempelhof which was the staging point for the HUGE fireworks competition.

Really it kind of snuck up on us. We had forgotten that it was even going to happen... that is until around 10.00 pm on Thursday night when two of the largest explosions I've ever heard rattled our windows and caused things to move about in our living room prompting the following stimulating conversation: Snooker to No, "Whoa, what was that?" No to Snooker, "I have no idea but it was LOUD!". These booms were followed shortly by the telltale signs of further fireworks, thus bringing us to the conclusion that there were no buildings being bombed (Berliners are a little skittish that way) and we were going to be treated to some lovely noises for a few minutes. HA! That night it went on 40 minutes. Not bad if you are outside enjoying them, (can't see them from our balcony or windows on the other side, too many trees and our building is facing the wrong way) but if you are trying to sleep on a work night, um... not so nice.

The next night was even longer, I think it lasted over an hour, but this competitor wasn't using the BIG boomers, just the normal ones. Finally on Saturday night I managed to be at home and have some time, so my FIL and I walked to the nearest vantage point (of course I got pictures, just no really nice ones) and enjoyed an hour of world-class fireworks. Next year, I will pay the 25 Euro entrance fee and be on the field for this festival of fireworks and music!

OK, so there ya have it. Head on over to the UnMom for her take on the Random Tuesday Madness and see how she manages time travel... No Doubt.


Kat said...

If I got a Wendy's or a Chik-fil-a I could live in England forever.

Toni said...

Creepy old hospitals; planning to write a horror novel by any chance? lol

headbang8 said...

"I'm digging this urban exploration thing and will do it again."

Snooks, check out the link to Michael John Grist on my Auslander/Japan links page. IN Japan, ruins like this are called haikyo, and usually date to the 1980s bubble. Astonishing stuff.

And confess, do you go to Hotters for the food, or for the...well, hooters?

headbang8 said...

Sorry. Hotters = Hooters. What a Freudian slip!

Ane Fallarme said...

I am dying to see Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince but there's no way I can cause I will not leave my 15 month old son!! Have fun though!

Happy RTT! :D

CrackerLilo said...

That's why I don't go to Hooters--my chicken allergy! (That and, in true bisexual style, I'm more inclined to look at members of both genders' butts.)

Your vacation plans sound *so awesome*! Jealous! Hope you enjoy New Zealand!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE HOT WINGS!!!! There I said it. My hubby makes the best ones but I like the hooters wings too.

Ooo scary hospitals are awesome, but I don't think I could've braved it without a flashlight. Bravo! Yikes!

Great Post!

Mom in High Heels said...

You are too funny! I was thrilled to discover that we have a KFC just up the road in Mannheim. Sadly though, no mashed potatoes. Do Germans not eat mashed potatoes? What's wrong with them? If a Wendy's ever opened up though, I'd be in heaven.
I'd love to go to New Zealand. I'm crazy jealous!
BTW, I too am counting down the days until HP comes out! Wheeeeeee!

~~tonya~~ said...

Too funny! Great randomness.

Have a great day.

Trudy said...

Wow, that was a whole lot of random, I love it!

I'm look forward to Harry this weekend too! Can't wait.

Happy RTT!

Jan from the Sushi Bar said...

What???? Those blond-haired, blue-eyed children are not biologically Michael Jackson's offspring?!?!?

Well, may wonders never cease. *rolls eyes*

Cell phones are also very good for lighting dark places - my Blackberry comes in very handy in the middle of the night in strange places.

I've never been to a Hooter's, so I can't say how good their hot wings are. I make some dandy ones, myself.

Jan from the Sushi Bar said...

OH - and I'm all about the Harry Potter - can't WAIT for Half Blood Prince to come out!!

I'm subscribing to your blog - please tell me you're not one of those silly Twilight twits, er, fans. It won't be a deal breaker, but I'll be REALLY disappointed...

C N Heidelberg said...

Everything in this post is completely awesome.

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

Your exploration of an old abandoned building sounds like something I would do...right down to forgetting the flashlight... :)

Loved all your randomness - happy RTT! :)

Princess Andy said...

i'm kind of giggly about the harry potter movie, also.

but i'm not sure i can get anyone here to go with me:(

and i would totally love to go someplace tropical for a vacation...but the whole shark thing would certainly throw a wrench into things!


Jaime said...

ooh! i forgot harry potter was coming out this week! hopefully i get to see it before it comes out on netflix... i can't remember hte last movie i saw in the theaters

Suzanne said...

Ok, THANK YOU for stopping by my blog so that I could find you! Hooters, MJ, Harry Potter, Tahiti and a creepy abandoned hospital in one blog post...I could read on forever!!!

Jul said...

That discount deal sounds totally unfair to the hookers. Do they really want to be servicing more men with sweaty bicycle crotch?

Jentry M. said...

Oh, you need to be careful about German Hooters. When Markus and I were in Dusseldorf, we went to the Hooters there, and I must say, I was disappointed! The wings were just ok...and by the way, some of the wings still had FEATHERS!!!! True, they were little feathers, but nonetheless, feathers...freaking feathers! And our waitress gave a whole new meaning to the word "dumb". I hope the one in Berlin is a bit better though!

Andie said...

Hi! Just noticed you've been to Beelitz-Heilstätten too, and had the same feeling about it I did. See

I haven't made a horror movie out of the experience, but you might want to look at my Tales From The Sanatorium photo story! http://www.andie.org.uk/sanatorium/

Love your blog by the way. Must visit more often! X