All posts filed under “Life

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A Video Game Made Me Gay and other Gamer Stories

Is it weird to constantly, obsessively wonder about what makes us, us?

Why are some people atheist and other stainless-ly faithful? Stoners or clean? Why do some people go to bed early and others only feel like they exist in the quiet of the night? And how can anyone seriously like pickles?

I guess if we could pinpoint the reason for everything we are, the universe would be as simple and comprehensible as that one Sudoku I was once able to solve, found inside Winx Magazine at a middle school slumber party. Three years ago.

But it’s not that simple. We – humans – have to accept that we’ll never have an answer and I – Fede – have to resign to not knowing why I dislike the color red, why Joanna Newsom’s voice makes me tick and why I’m writing this blog post at this very moment.

I will never know the exact reason behind any of these things. Except for one.

FLASHBACK – SUMMER OF 2015, LUNCHTIME – THE OFFICE

ANNE
I just want the weekend to come. It’s going to be me, a bottle of wine and GTA.

CO-WORKER 1
Yeah!

CO-WORKER 2
Great plan!

CO-WORKER3
GTA is the best!

ME
What exactly is GTA?

I am NOT familiar with video games. Not at all. I have played some when my sister, in the nineteenth century, brought home an Amiga and then quickly lost interest once I figured playing video games required patience, reflexes and the ability not to have a mental breakdown every time you lose.

ANNE
You seriously don’t know Grand Theft Auto? The most popular game of, like, ever?

ME
I don’t….

ANNE
….

ME
….but I know other games. Better games, in fact. Like, like……RAINBOW ISLANDS!

ANNE
What’s that?

ME
Oh, that’s amazing! It’s about a chubby kid, whose mission is to visit a bunch of islands and kill the enemies who stand on his way.

ANNE
What kind?

ME
Uh?

ANNE
What kind of enemies? Is it aliens? Werewolves? Genetically modified soldiers?

ME
It’s bugs. Like worms, bees and occasionally butterflies.

ANNE
So you’re saying that this guy goes around throwing grenades and firing guns against regular insects just because he’s scared of them?

ME
No, you dummy! He does NOT fire weapons! He kills them with rainbows which emanate from his body! This way he can collect diamonds, necklaces and design vases!

rainbow_island

Rainbows.

Insects.

Design vases.

Fifteen years spent interrogating myself on the nature of my nature and on a lazy, sticky, summer afternoon all the pieces precipitate into place. Rainbow Islands made me a homosexual. Read More

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The Human body is not made for running: I have proof

My friend Maria has two university degrees: one in communication and one in something that has to do with sport (I DON’T HAVE A FACT CHECKER OK?!). This makes me think that she must know the human body very well and must also be extremely good at communicating stuff about it.

One day she gave me a concerned look and told me, confidently, “you know, our body is not made for running”. I don’t know if that was just an FYI or if she had picked up on the fact that all that sport was ruining my life, dragging me away from all the tv personalities I had come to love and follow, from my social media friends and, to sum it up, from reality. Whatever her motivations were, her words changed me deeply.

Suddenly, the idea of addressing the United Nations about my middle school organizing outdoor endurance running competitions in January didn’t seem so dumb anymore. Suddenly, I had the courage to look back at that time of my life and say “I was a victim.”. Suddenly, screaming “there’s a baby on the rails!” seemed much more justified than running to catch a train about to depart.

The whole universe started to make sense and in this cascade of pieces falling into place I felt stupid for not recognizing all the hints that Mother Nature had given me about the horrible, dangerous practice of running.

First of all, my locker room selfies looked nothing like this one.

 

Au contraire, my post-treadmill shots always seemed like a desperate call for help. Read More

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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

Read More

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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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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…”

tumblr_mhfxduBHef1rf8fybo1_500

– “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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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

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Shall I Plan your Wedding Proposal?

When in 2007 a man proposed to his girlfriend through a crossword puzzle featured on the Boston Globe, I decided I’d start doing all the Italian crossword puzzles I could find in order to spot hidden messages.

In 2009 a guy popped the question through a public, static Tumblr post that anyone could see and had me screaming at the screen “YES! YES! YEEEES!”

I was at work when someone linked to me Isaac’s Live Lip-Dub Proposal and it turned out to be the world’s most serious case of “I’m not crying, I have something in my eyes”.

Now.

I would like to channel my restless creativity into something that makes people happy and designing wedding proposals seems like the perfect thing for me to do.

It doesn’t have to be tacky, loud, public or embarrassing, but we all secretly want it to be special, right?

Hit me up on Fiverr if you’re interested. I am cheap.

wedding proposal planning - my fiverr gig