Category Archives: Rike Horstmann

Earworm of the day: On the Street Where You Live

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yl-coD6ovc0[/youtube]I grew up listening to My Fair Lady. I am not kidding you: When I was a small child, my parents had a lot of classical music on records, a couple of German songwriters, and My Fair Lady and Fiddler on the Roof (both in a German version). I was allowed to handle the record player from a very young age, and often chose to play the musicals for their catchy tunes. Continue reading

Longing for boredom

12Nat210In a recent romance I read (a European historical), there is the following dialogue between the heroine and her suitor:

“… If you turn polite on me now, I shall become very bored indeed.” – “And that’s the very worst, isn’t it? Becoming bored?” – “I detest it. I will go to great lengths to avoid it.”

Intellectually, I completely get the purpose of this little exchange. Continue reading

Magnolias

12Nat037My favorite late-spring flowers are magnolias. We don’t have any in the garden ourselves, but there are some in a nearby park, and I love going there or just cycling past the park and seeing the pale pink blooms. With spring being so late here in Germany this year, it’s only very recently that they’ve been blooming. Continue reading

Earworm of the day: Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1pMMIe4hb4[/youtube]Wuthering Heights is the song that originally awakened my interest in Kate Bush. I don’t even particularly like the novel, but there’s something magical and otherwordly about the song, and often it’s the first song I play when I take out my Kate Bush CDs. This video version is delightfully overacted. Enjoy!

- Rike Horstmann

How to celebrate Labor Day

Tag der ArbeitMay 1st is Labor Day in Germany. It’s one of the two non-religious public holidays we have here (the other being Reunification Day, October 3rd), and everyone loves having that day off.

There are marches in some cities, but not in small towns like mine, so everybody in my neighborhood feels free to enjoy the day just as they like.

This is what I had been planning for yesterday: Continue reading

My favorite werewolf: Monroe

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uar1rWVAJV0[/youtube]As a rule, I don’t like werewolves, be it in books, in movies or TV series. Of late, there has been one exception: Monroe, played by Silas Weir Mitchell, from the show Grimm. (If you take a look at the video, he’s the bearded guy figured prominently in the trailer’s middle and end.) Continue reading

Earworm of the day: Thursday’s Child by David Bowie

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4DzdUEiyL8[/youtube]My favorite CD right now is Best of Bowie. There are about 10 songs among the 20 on it that I could enter here as an earworm, but I have decided for Thursday’s Child. It’s one of those sneakily catchy songs that appear rather unspectacular when you listen to them, then grab you and don’t let go for the next 48 hours.

What are your favorite David Bowie songs?

- Rike Horstmann

AAR Goes to the Movies: Lincoln

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAItg1zzhrU[/youtube]Because Lincoln got rather mixed reviews in German papers and magazines, I didn’t go to watch the movie when it was first on here last autumn. After Daniel Day-Lewis had won the Oscar for best actor in February, it was put on at the local cinema again, and I went and watched it. And boy am I glad I didn’t miss it! Continue reading

AAR Goes to the Movies: Howl’s Moving Castle

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UibodUGoL4M[/youtube]Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones is among my top 10 favorite books, and may be the one I have reread most often over the years. It received the only A+ review I have written for AAR so far. Which is why I was both excited and worried to hear some years back that it was being made into an animated film by Studio Ghibli, directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Continue reading

Grandma’s Baumkuchen

13Div002I recently rediscovered my grandmother’s recipe for Baumkuchen. English translations for this delicous treat that I have found online are Pyramid cake and layered cake; if you do it properly you prepare it by adding layer after layer of dough on a spit turned regularly. In a less dramatic version, you add the layers in an ordinary loaf pan. That’s what I did last week, and the resulting cake was so delicious that I want to share the recipe with you. Continue reading