Yearly archives of “2015

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Cards Against Humanity additions that make a lot of sense

The Christmas holidays are a time of getting together, drinking like goats in the desert and playing board games. For all of you who enjoy complex strategy games whose instructions are longer than the Twilight saga and require an abnormal attention to detail being sober: stop wasting time on my blog and go read yourself some Encyclopædia Britannica.

For all the ones who like silly games taking out the worst in them: I have something for you.

cards against humanity additions

One morning of November I was sick and in a fever delirium. It seemed the perfect time to take all the white cards of Cards Against Humanity which made no sense to me (Yes, all FOURTY of them!) and change them into something that made me laugh.

Here they are

Toni Morrison’s Vagina -> Game of Thrones Spoilers

I don’t know who Toni Morrison is, but I’ve seen people balling and threatening to take their lives after reading on the internet the identities of the latest dead characters in the HBO show.

The Little Engine That Could -> The Agony of Hanging your Clothes to Dry

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Top 23 Records of 2015

After doing this in 2012, 2013 ad 2014, not only I managed to keep the tradition alive, but I’ve also published my list before Pitchfork did.  Hooray! These are my favourite records from 2015.

01 | carrie & lowell |  sufjan stevens

Years ago Sufjan Stevens released a record called The Age of Adz that featured acoustic gems alongside electronic-driven songs and a 25 minute epic closing track.  I thought it was the coolest thing ever.

When I read that the new record was going to be more of the old Sufjan (keywords: ballad, stripped down, banjo, quiet) I was ready to be bored – if not disappointed – by what turned out to be a little masterpiece.

Carrie & Lowell narrates the death of Sufjan’s mother (and its aftermath) in microscopic, heartbreaking detail. It is full of conflicting emotions, disconnected images and the pseudo lucidity of a person who’s most likely still in the eye of the storm. Its intimate closeups on family memories intersect with the record’s more abstract poetic to create something that’s not only accessible to the listener but also incredibly, frightfully relatable.

Listen to 4th of July

carrie and lowell cover

02 | divers |  joanna newsom

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Uh oh. Speaking two languages is driving me nuts

My high school English teacher used to tell us stuff like, “Learning a foreign language changes you forever.”

Despite being an obvious attempt to make us passionate about her subject, her words made sense to me — the kid who quoted obscure Buffy the Vampire Slayer lines and treated Alanis Morissette’s lyrics like the word of God. After all, without a basic understanding of the English language I couldn’t have done any of that, and all those beautiful imaginary friendships would have never blossomed.

Then I made it to adulthood (I think) and experienced first-hand the perks of speaking a foreign language: hitting on exotic men (whilst still using Buffy references as pick up lines #ForeverAlone) and weaseling my way into more office gossip than ever before.

Learning English strongly affected my habits, but was I really profoundly changed by it? Not until I moved to Germany. In Berlin, I started speaking and writing ten times more…Read the rest of this post on Babbel.com

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How to Write a Cover Letter: The Funny Guide

I wrote this originally for Uberlin

how to write cover letter

Ever wondered why cover letters are called cover letters?

That’s because they’re a cover-up, a fraud, a final attempt to reinforce all the lies you’ve shamelessly written on your resume and spice them up with some hardcore lip service. A good cover letter is something you can’t have your wife and children read without them thinking you’re willing to trade your family for a part-time customer service job at an internet startup.

Now, in order to write a convincing cover letter you have to be able to write a regular one. I know that nobody writes proper letters anymore, but in our childhood we’ve all done it in (at least) two specific circumstances.

 #1 Love Letters

I remember middle school as the place where my first literary attempts took place. All the guys were writing down their hormonal intensity to girls who either wouldn’t let them touch their breasts or didn’t have breasts at all. One of my letters was so successful that a 12 year old girl in my class pulled me aside and kissed me, making death poems suddenly look like a better idea.

#2 Letters to Santa

Growing up in a catholic family, I could either write my Christmas wishes to Santa or to baby Jesus. I always picked the former – very conveniently – assuming that the old man wouldn’t be up to date with my sins. In hindsight I feel like I was never really filled in on the magic of Christmas and as a result all my letters to Santa sounded like financial scam against seniors, as if I had to convince him to spend all his pension for my presents. Also, I probably looked down on Jesus, thinking that a baby born in a cave wouldn’t be able to discern between the real Little Mermaid merchandise and a cheap rip-off.

Anyway, the perfect cover letter takes something from both examples; it has the severe longing of the teenage love letter and the manipulative hidden agenda of the Santa letter; It makes big promises but also claims big rewards; it tells a company that you’ll be their dream, you’ll be their wish, you’ll be their fantasy. You’ll be their hope, you’ll be their love, be everything that they need. You’ll love them more with every breath (truly,  madly, deeply do) you will be strong, you will be faithful ’cause you’re counting on a new beginning, a reason for living, a deeper meaning, yeah.

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Dear NAME_OF_RECRUITER, Read More

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How To Make Halloween Costumes Out Of Your Favourite Websites

On the Halloween of two years ago I decided to dress up as my boyfriend and impersonated him in a video that managed to fool his dad and gained me a nomination to the Academy Awards (of my heart).

This year I resolved to step up my game and dress up as another of my true, real loves: THE WHOLE INTERNET.

Pitchfork

This rootless supervillain made it his life’s mission to find and pierce everyone who claims that Joanna Newsom’s voice is “kinda weird” or that “Tori Amos  is just a Kate Bush wannabe”.

pitchfork halloween costume

pitchfork halloween costume

pitchfork halloween costume

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The Most Amazing Office Picture Ever Taken

Yes, it happened again.

After my cameo in the most amazing roller coaster picture ever taken, my beautiful persona is once again under the spotlight and earned himself a guest star appearance in what must be a new milestone in the history of photography.

Chapter 1, in which I “act natural”

Weeks ago I noticed a stranger with a camera wandering through the rooms of my workplace. It turned out she was writing an article about our office for a cool French website based in Berlin and needed some pictures of the space. Given that I was the only person in my room, she asked if she could take a couple of shots of me working.

– “Sure…”

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– “Just act natural”

I don’t know about you, but when I’m told to act natural the pressure is simply too high and my instinctual reaction is one of the following: Read More

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The Most Amazing Roller Coaster Photo Ever Taken

I think I found the picture I want on my tombstone.

tombstone

But maybe we should start from the beginning.

FLASHBACK
COUPLE DAYS AGO
SOUTH OF GERMANY

As you probably know if you follow me on Twitter, my boyfriend and I recently took a holiday in Switzerland/South of Germany/Black Forest.

We opted for the south of Germany in particular because, apart from its beautiful nature and the fact that drinking beer for breakfast is socially acceptable, there’s a big amusement park there.

For years I’ve been lamenting the fact that Berlin has no proper amusement park, telling everybody how much I loooove roller coasters and adventurous rides (in hindsight, I must have been drunk).

So, Europa Park happened. We got there in the late morning without much preliminary research and found ourselves in front of a big, badass amusement park. The number of attractions exceeded our expectations (you need at least two days if you wanna do everything) and the theme seemed pretty well developed (each area of the park is a European country and its individual attractions are based on something connected to the country).

We decided to start with Iceland because, as  you know if you’ve followed our trip, everything is calm and peaceful there.

Bad idea. Read More

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How to Write Your Resume: The Funny Guide

I wrote this originally for Uberlin

If you’ve read the previous chapter of this guide, you should have identified the startup job of your dreams and be ready to apply.

If you haven’t found it, it probably means you’re being too picky and are doomed to become a homeless person while waiting to encounter the perfect job title (“Hairstylist at a horse beauty  contest”)
hairstyle

But let’s assume you are ready to go.

Applying at an internet startup is a delicate process that you can’t afford to fuck up. Your whole career depends on this preliminary phase and in this second chapter of my guide I’ll focus on how to put together a spotless Curriculum Vitae.

STEP 1 – LAYOUT

Once upon a time the reign of CVs was ruled by an evil king called European Model. The European Model states that all the information inside a CV shall be divided into two columns and be presented in the most readable (a.k.a. boring) way possible, as if to proudly scream to the world that we all have OCD.

Then the game changed. Recruiters were getting tired of their job life after hours of going through the same, excruciatingly boring and anonymous documents and at the same time internet startups started understanding the value of differentiation and personality. Read More

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Dick-Shaped Cutlery | my 7th day in Iceland

Flying felt like cheating.

We had conceived the holiday as a road trip and I really wanted to move only by car, but in the end the time wasn’t enough. We got up early in our hostel in Akureyri (a pretty town in the north of Iceland), packed our bags and walked to the  airport. After going whale watching, riding zodiacs and almost running over sheep on the road, WALKING TO THE AIRPORT from the city center still sounds like the most monumental accomplishment. We then hopped on what was probably the smallest airplane I’ve ever stepped in and 40 minutes later we were in Reykjavík.

We picked our hostel because its name (Kex) reminded us of the German word for cookie (Keks) and clearly the universe was sending me a sign there. It turned out that not only the hostel was amazing (and hipster!), but that the whole building used to be a freakin’ cookie factory.

Like, how cool is that?
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Our room was interesting, too. One side of it resembled  an Armenian prison while the other actually had a warm, homey feeling to it. Read More

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How to Go Through Job Postings: The Funny Guide

I originally wrote this for the awesome Uberlin

 

My mother used to put stuff in boxes. Professionally. She did it for 30 years at the same small-sized suburban Italian company and while the boxes were sent everywhere in the world, my mom and her career weren’t exactly going places.

My dad, the only male among four siblings, had to drop out of middle school to help his father in the fields. Like many of his peers, he learned to think of work as something that is tightly related to suffering, sacrifice and blind obedience.

Whenever I tell my parents about company breakfasts, team building events and gamification, they share a very specific look that I’ve come to interpret as “Our son is lying to us. He doesn’t have a job in Berlin. He’s squatting an abandoned building and carries stolen drugs across countries in order to pay for his groceries”; only when I mention that I occasionally have fun at work the look differs and they seem relieved thinking that I’m actually rich from running an illegal prostitution ring.

But I get that look. I do. Growing up with a blue-collar mindset made me both conscious of my current luck and weirdly aware of the seemingly absurd sides of the startup life.

This series of posts  is the natural consequence of that.

 

CHAPTER 1: JOB POSTINGS

This is going to sound obvious, but in order to work at a startup you need to either found one or be hired by one. I’m going to focus on the latter ’cause I’m a slacker and I’ve made it my life goal to achieve less and less every day.

If you’re smart you’ve probably created alerts that result in receiving an email every time a desirable position is available, either through Google Alerts or through more specific job oriented platforms like Indeed.de or BerlinStartupJobs.com. What you might not know, though, is that when it comes to job titles startups can be as quirky as the side charatcer of an indie tv series.

shoshanna-girls-hairstyles-bun-w724

The chances your alert will be triggered by the keyword “customer relationship manager” are thinner, for example, than the ones for the keyword “Customer Happiness Ninja”. You know what I mean? Read More