NPR Part 4 on Identity | Pico Iyer’s TED talk: “Where do you call home?”

Today I happened to turn on (NPR) National Public Radio, to hear Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episodes on Identity, of which I knew nothing about.

TED, Technology,Entertainment, Design

TED Technology Entertainment Design Ideas worth spreading

This one featuring Pico Iyer’s TED talk about his perspective of “where one calls home”. It certainly grabbed my attention, the topic alone, since I’ve lived in quite a number of different places, among different communities in several countries. This particular presentation by the writer Pico Iyer, regarding “what do you call home?” is quite intriguing because of the way in which he eloquently describes his intimate understanding of the situation of having no particular identification with any one place.

He realizes at one point after living in numerous countries and having had his parent’s home burn down, that “My home would have to be whatever I carry around inside me.”

He calls it a terrific liberation in fact, since he speaks of how his grandparents grew up in a community, in which their whole sense of home, community and enmity, was assigned to them at birth. They didn’t have much chance of stepping outside of this.

Pico Iyer, TEDTalk, Identity

Pico Iyer’s TEDTalk on Identity

Nowadays, some of use can choose our home, create our sense of community and fashion our sense of self, by stepping beyond the black and white divisions of our grandparent’s age.

The number of people living in countries other than their own, is currently 220 million.

It is one thing to have ‘moved around a lot, and quite another, when one is fleeing their country – which is happening at alarming rates these days, with political refugees seeking asylum from the violence in their homelands. Yet, listening to Pico’s smiling voice articulate examples of people who are by birth, of two different ethnic backgrounds; living in a third country that is neither of their parent’s homeland, ads an additional subtle twist.

Perhaps this talk will be soothing to anyone who hears it, to reassure us all that home is what one carries within ourselves.

Iyer’s final statement: “Home is not where I sleep, but where I stand“.

Halloween in Berlin | A deliriously decadant costume party at White Trash |

Okay, I don’t know about you, but when I catch the clock repeatedly at 11:11, or like I have in the last weeks, again and again at the hour on the hour, 00:00, 9:00, 15:00, 21:00… I begin to question why? I don’t know why this keeps repeatedly happening, with such frequency. It’s not like I’m always looking at the clock or have this self-fulfilling need to weave meaning into it, I’m just saying that’s it’s been happening A LOT, several times a day, for the last weeks. I find it peculiarly poignant. I usually try to be aware of what I happen to be doing at that moment – often I’m on the computer – and then flash on what I’m researching, pondering, what information I’m accessing, executing…on my laptop at that moment, and reflect that I guess I’m doing the right thing.

With that said, it was with the aim to go to the American owned club in Berlin “White Trash Fast Food”, to see my friends playing in their band Mamasweed, http://www.myspace.com/mamasweed on Halloween night. This venue was what I was looking forward to. I love Halloween, as do many Americans, and the myriad costumes pouring out into the sidewalk last night gave the natives something to gawk at.

Several days earlier I happened to check out, as I have been with more frequency in the last year, Rob Brezsny’s San Francisco based astrology column. I was familiar with it through local papers where it had been printed when I lived there. I was happy to see that it is also online, under the guise of http://www.freewillastrology.com. Having had my astrological chart ‘done’ by several amateur astrologers in the past – using the exact place and moment of my birth – I recognized an uncanny and resoundingly accurate reflection of who I appear to be, so lately I’ve been looking somewhat routinely at his often witty insights.

Because I happen to have a concentration of all of the planets in three houses, I pull information from all three of them. My Sun and rising sign are in the house that it rules Capricorn. And a group of 3 planets occupy both the signs of Scorpio and Sagittarius. It was viewing Scorpio last week – where my moon is – in which Brezsny associated this period with being blissed out, delighted and ecstatic, and suggested googling the Chinese character “double happiness”. I did just that on Halloween day – in which google employees created the occasion to carve giant pumpkins with the google name.

Upon looking at the character on the 31st

I made the impromptu decision, to incorporate this symbol into my costume, somehow. Then I decided that it needed to be painted prominently on my face ;-))

I happened to notice that the couchsurfing weekly language exchange meeting group mentioned that people come in costume; sporting the color orange was encouraged. That lead to me to discovering my very orange items in my closet. So, I frolicked by the CS party on my way to White Trash. Here’s a photo of me and the organizer’s of this meeting, Alex and Sarah.

Ironically, the first person I spoke with at “White Trash”, was a musician who said that the theme there that night was ‘double’ something or other, that was before I told him that the character written on my face was “double happiness”.

Upon arriving at the vicinity of the front door, the sidewalk was packed with people stumbling onto the sidewalk. Specifically for that evening, there were poles set up behind two front windows, with mangled women doing their pole dances. However, the first thing I saw was this man dressed in a cotton schwab, kindof puffy white mummy suit doing a pole dance – who later in the evening pulled off the outer layer and was doused on stage with fake blood, in costume as a tampon. His antics were his clowning attempts to pole dance, unable to really execute any moves, sliding, falling and fumbling all over it, slapstick style. It was in fact, hilarious. Then he appeared on the sidewalk and continued to fitfully throw himself around, and then crawled like a snake on the sidewalk back to the door. Pretty hysterical.

Once inside the club, the ferocious mob of people was daunting. Just so many people to negotiate moving through! There were in-house body painters equipped with everything imaginable. And judging by the people walking around, they did a dazzling and quite professional caliber of work; there were a lot of very, very scary people; zippered faces, bullet wounds, scars and blood oozing out all of the orifices… One after another slick costume. It was a delirious, crazy, debaucherous and raucous crowd from the beginning, and this pace continued all night. There were mostly rock band performances downstairs and the drag theatrical performances upstairs. I didn’t get so many pictures, because there would have been just too, too many to take.

I was on the final day of 11 in which I hadn’t had a dime, which I’ll be writing about shortly – regarding how I was able to survive and have quite an excellent – productive and social – time, which levied for two weekends – in Berlin, with absolutely no money. Something that I have survived gracefully and cheerfully, yet don’t particularly want to make this test on a sustained bases. On Halloween night, I was on the guest list through Mamasweed, and once I sat down at one free chair to scope out the place soon after arriving, I was waived over by a group of people at a table, half of them Croatian friends. They asked me to join them, and had flowing pitchers of beer the whole night and into the morning. Lucky me! Fortunately, one person in the group spoke English and German quite well, so he was the translator. “White Trash Fast Food” pulled off quite a gala Halloween event, the place decorated full-on and the staff working there in fantastic, Hollywood set lavish make-up and costume that was by no means amateur.

In the meantime on the right coast of the United States, there were also extravagant Halloween partiers, in the House of Horrors. On my other blog, I give a standing ovation to theDanger, an outstandingly eloquent party promoter who has contributed to many a New Yorker’s scintillating days and evenings out on the town! http://digesthis.wordpress.com/2011/11/02/laud-to-the-end-of-thedanger-the-most-eloquent-underground-events-nyc-has-scene-d

Here are the White Trash Berlin Halloween 2011 pics.

a Splash of ColoR to lighten up my blog & tribute to Steve Jobs !-))

You can read some interactive highlights about the life of Steve Jobs in the Guardian and The New York Times.

In the New York Times interactive feature, there’s a speech that Jobs gave to the graduating class of Stanford University, in CA, which has some very fun and inspiring points. He gave this commencement address on June 12th, 2005 (in the time line, where you can watch the video). He talks about doing what you love, and not settling for less. Following your heart, and never letting yourself become complacent; but always staying on the edge/remaining hungry for new things and keeping a foolish streak! He also talked about a (Carlos Castenada style) of awareness of death, so that if you are to ask yourself each day when you wake up and look in the mirror “is what I’m going to be doing today something that makes me happy and is satisfying, and is this what I would like to do (potentially) on the last day of my life”…that if you find yourself not satisfied with your answer, then make the necessary changes!!

He has offered through his life, a love and devotion to technology and creative design, which has resulted in affecting millions of peoples’ lives for the better!! I and many people were shocked to hear this news this morning!

Featured is some kid’s art I discovered on a bridge in Berlin and some paintings I did in a gallery on the street of my previous residence.

I happened to go onto the sidewalk of this bridge I’ve bicycled over many times, and for the first time, checked out all these painted cylinders. A project instigated by a grade school; Neumar Grund Schule. It’s fun & playful artwork. Most are done by kids, whereas a few appear to be too intricate to be just child’s play !-)

At the end are some paintings I did in “Galerie Ardes”, Willmanndamm Strasse 16, 10827 Berlin. They hosted an ‘open canvas’ weekend long party. They offered blocks of paper on two easel’s and acrylic paints/pastels, for anyone to join in the interactive experience of painting. At the end of the process they held an auction. It was very fun!

By the way, on this same street on Friday evening, a painting school was holding their 2nd year Anniversary. At one point as the evening was winding down, a hedge hog appeared, waddling it’s way under the parked cars. It was adorable, and seemed to be oblivious to myself and another girl, giggling as we followed it and watched it disappearing and reappearing under the cars. I’ve seen red and blond foxes in the middle of Berlin a number of times, finding myself astonished to see them literally in the middle of the city. Berlin has an enormous amount of green; trees in many of the streets and loads of parks. It’s one of the most green cities, if not THE most green city in Europe. Apparently there are a lot of wild boars surrounding the city too! pretty cool!

I just moved to a new hood, and have much more to show and tell, coming up!

Oh yeah, the Bareback Karaoke in Mauer park was another fun filled entertaining event this last Sunday, in which the park was as usual, packed with people. The karaoke as well as the Sunday flea market draw in the crowds.

the crowd at Bareback Karaoke in Mauer Park, Sunday afternoon in Berlin


Mauer Park is one packed park with people, especially on Sunny Sundays!

If you want to see some great art, check this out. I’ve attended a few Italian art gallery openings, among which http://www.emilianobaiocchi.com/index.html Emiliano was featured. He told me recently that he made a commitment to himself to post a new picture daily on his Facebook page, which is a great way to discipline oneself to keep kranking out new work!! Here’s his website which shows his lovely works.

Tuesday night I went to see my friends in their band, “Jah of York” perform among some other musicians, hosted at http://www.tausendberlin.com/.

Jaheed and his band also perform regularly at the Friday Neo-nights jam sessions, (which he hosts). The stage opens up to anyone who wishes to play music, throughout the evening. I play bass guitar there pretty regularly. http://www.facebook.com/n3onite

Wednesday evening I headed over to the http://www.king-kong-klub.de/ to check out a few English speaking poets I’m acquainted with, doing their thing at the Beatstreet poetry night.

And Thursday I’m going to hang out with some French folks drinking some French wine in the Mitte district, should be delightful !-))

By the way, the one cylindrical ball that was merely tagged with this “Monsanto Stinkt zum Himmel / stinks to the sky”.

I’ve written about and referred to this greedy multinational corporation with its dubious practices, as well as Halliburton previously. I was therefore happy to see this ‘politically accurate’ forecast!

http://digesthis.wordpress.com/2011/05/02/repercussions-of-monsanto/
http://digesthis.wordpress.com/2010/03/06/the-future-of-food-ouch-halliburtons-globalization-chess-game/