Tuesday, January 27, 2009

25 random things about me

Well, I can't stand memes, I can't stand people asking me to do memes but I'll do it this one time because my wife tagged me and I'd be happy to make an exception for her.

Okay, so here are 25 random things about me:

1). I'm a re-trained left hander: I do everything with my left side (Kick balls, open doors, drink, etc.) except for writing. My mother thought it was a good idea to train me to write with my right hand. And, yes, I can't draw because of that.
2) My first pet was called: Chirpy-Chirpy-Cheep-Cheep. He died a few days later.
3) When I go to Starbucks or Coffee&Bean, my name is Bob. Who can pronounce Uwe?
4) I'm a Gemini. I like to do 10 things at once.
5) I wrote 3 screen plays. One was made into a TV movie in Germany. Nobody important to me has ever seen it.
6) Providence is my favorite restaurant in the world. Gary Danko is a close second. I'd do almost anything to have a good tasting/wine pairing evening there.
7) We still sit on the same couch in our living room that I purchased for a few dimes 13 years ago. I feel like a student.
8) I get up each day at 4.30 am. And stop working around 9pm. I'm crazy.
9) I can't sleep unless I'm listening to talk radio in my headphones. Call me weird.
10) Even though I didn't have contact with my father for more than 10 years, I miss him a lot. There's a huge difference between not communicating and being dead. I have no ways of connecting with him ever again. And that's a heart breaker.
11) My dog has allergies, stinks and is annoying. But I love her to death.
12) I love my daughter so much, it hurts.
13) I used to play games for hours. Flight Simulator, Civilization, Donkey Kong - whatever. I can't even remember the last time I played a game.
14) I think gapingvoid.com is one of the most unique voices out there. You should consume everything he produces. I also love that he lives in Alpine, TX.
15) The worst thing that ever happened to my life was the commute. It drains all the life out of me to drive to work and back each day for more than 2 hours. What a waste of energy. And life.
16) I love, adore and respect my wife. I hope she feels the same way.
17) I never thought I would become a marketer. I always believed I would fly planes or heal people. To make up for my sins as an advertiser, I'm focusing on Social Marketing.
18) The first time I visited Los Angeles I couldn't believe anybody wanted to live here. Now I've been here for 13 years
19) My favorite drinks (in that order): Nonfat Latte, Dirty Martini Ketel 1, Syrah.
20) Losing weight was easy. Staying below 160lbs is a daily battle. I'm winning.
21) I miss a few European things: Walking, interacting, city layouts. I don't miss the European mentality of thinking that the future will be worse and we all should just shut up and endure. I always loved how Americans grabbed the bull by the horn. Or the bear, to stay in the current economic scenario.
22) Basically, I stopped watching TV. Yes, a bit of Weeds, Lost, Survivor and Mad Men. But TV has lost its draw. Everything is digital.
23. I still feel an emotional connection to music. But it's being drowned out by constant flow of information.
24. Cleaning my teeth at night takes at least 10 minutes.
25. I feel misunderstood.

The most astonishing piece of creative

You think Ogilvy, BBDO or even W+K could create this? Almost 900,000 views on YouTube, try topping that. The acting itself is pure magic.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The audacity of hope

"It's the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs; the hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores; the hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta; the hope of a millworker's son who dares to defy the odds; the hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too. Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope!"

Barack Obama, 2004

Sunday, January 18, 2009

8 years of Bush - What has changed

Click here to get the full map.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Outdated. And so good.

Iggy Pop playing Candy. With lyrics like

Candy, candy , candy I cant let you go
All my life youre haunting me
I loved you so

Candy, candy , candy I cant let you go
Life is crazy
Candy baby

you can't go wrong. Cheesy, lame but so cool. Never got Iggy Pop; always thought of him as the guy who cuts himself. But this song rocks.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wave of Suicides

We're starting to see a wave of suicides from executives involved in the financial crisis: Adolf Merckle, Kirk Stephenson and Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet. Japan is bracing itself for a massive wave of suicides. 

The father of former girlfriend told me years ago that he went bankrupt in the 50's and when he went to church after the filing, many churchgoers asked him quietly why he didn't commit suicide since he brought shame to his family. This was in the 50's in Germany and I thought we were over this kind of thinking. I guess, I overestimated our culture.

Your job, your income, your bank account should not be tied to your self-worth. What you make doesn't make you a good or a bad person. Yes, it is embarrassing, frustrating and depressing to lose your job, to lose all your savings, to have to start all over. Maybe even stop at the jail for a while. But how far have we gone with our love for money and status that when both disappear, we want to disappear as well? 

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Bittersweet Symphony

During Live8, Chris Martin invited Richard Ashcroft to perform 'Bittersweet Symphony' with Coldplay as the backup band. Coldplay's Chris Martin introduced Ashcroft - "this is probably the best song ever written and the best singer in the world, Mr. Richard Ashcroft." A pretty big statement coming from one of the most successful bands of this year.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Johannes Mario Simmel

Johann Mario Simmel died yesterday. I'm sure no American has ever heard of him. He wrote a few German/Austrian classics, none of them will be remembered as literary jewels. He was a mainstream author, accessible to almost anybody willing to read. I remember him fondly because he was one of the few authors that kept you interested in an 800 page book from front to end. Not many authors have that gift. And I read a lot of his books when I was in my early teens. His themes were fascism and the fight between good and bad. By selling more than 73 million books, he can compared to bestselling machines like Grisham.

But, I don't want to diminish his work. Too many times do we negate the work of an artist just because they are extremely successful: If everybody likes the book, it can't be good? As he said: "The easier it is to read a book, the harder it is to write it."

And about death: "I'm afraid it could go on after we die. (...) When I die, I want it to be over."