watching

How to begin…talking about Beginners!

UPDATE: I found this in my Saved drafts and since I never published it and I’m already a post behind. I thought I could throw it in here and hope that you could forgive the very, very late and short review.

Beginners (2011): is a wonderfully gloomy yet hopeful film that deals with everything from love, death, nostalgia, angst, loneliness, homosexuality, old age, and laryngitis.  The notion of grief for a relationship that never really truly matured especially a parental one is a unique topic. Death is never dealt with realistically in films, at least not in the way that I’ve experienced it :,( But Beginners did just that, it conveyed grief in human colors without the shroud of Hollywood glamour. It was so true, so human and beautiful (in terms of plot and cinematography). Catharsis comes to mind when describing the  film’s emotional impact.  And who doesn’t love “Uggi” (the Oscar nominated dog)!

My husband just asked me “what’s so good about it?”

My only response: “it gives you the feels.”

Prepare for a good cry but more than anything savor it.

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watching

A Girl Walks Home ALONE at Night

Just saw A Girl Walk Home Alone at Night  last night at the cult indie cinema Filmkunst 66. Dubbed in German but still hauntingly beautiful. Any freeze-frame would yield a beautiful, masterfully composed still. It’s a bit of Nosferatu meets The Outsiders. The plot is spiraling but in no particular direction. Linear at times and then completely chaotic and terrifying. There are some seriously scary moments and then some really goofy Hammer Film style gore.

I enjoyed the film immensely, but the ending felt rushed and halfhearted. My biggest disappointment was the lack of any deep and meaningful Persian connection. I don’t know much about Iran but I did watch Persepolis and going into this movie, I expected a similar yet gothic take on the persian diaspora. Alas, aside from the spoken Farsi, which was completely lost in translation (since the film was sadly dubbed into german) AGWHAAN hardly dealt with any deeply persian issues. Yes, there were the beautiful Farsi tattoos and the girl with the nose job — but aside from that I didn’t see anything that would make it uniquely Iranian. I haven’t watched/read any of the interviews with the director so I can’t be sure about the motives/ intentions behind making this movie; it should be noted that it’s quiet a remarkable feat for a a debut film. What I can say however is that it was artsy and referential (in a good way)–postmodern to the core.

The story could be applicable to any dystopian city around the world. I just expected it to be more telling about middle eastern societies outlook on girls who “walk home alone at night.”

So all in all, a big bravo to the casting director because those actors were not only incredibly talented but also ridiculously photogenic. Let me leave you with this eye candy.

“grrrrrrr”

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musing

An Inch of Water.

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When I was six, my mother said I couldn’t take a bath. Here I was back from a stressful day at school, where Mansoor once again tagged Nisrin instead of me during a very serious and detrimental game of tag and other such calamities.

It was a cold, rainy winter day. The heaters in our first floor apartment had not been on for weeks because of the gas shortage.  All I wanted was a warm bubbly bath in a tub, just like the ones you see in cartoons. I was tired of all the “family” baths we were having. My grandma, mom, sister, auntie, my “other” auntie (read:my uncle’s evil-wife ) and all the cousins gathered in the bathroom in a makeshift arabic-style Hamam was just not cutting it any more. I wanted a bath, a soak, bubbles…lots of bubbles.

After her gut-wrenching “no,” my mom left for some womanly gathering somewhere, as all woman do back home all day, everyday till the husband’s return (or so it seemed). I quickly convinced Dana to fill the tub.

Dana, my older sister was for some reason (and for the first and last time) a willing accomplice.

Being as smart as I was, I suggested that we cover our hair, thus prevent it from getting wet; a sure way of eliminating any proof of our innocent childhood crime.

Stripped down to my underwear and rejoicing at the sight of the white, fluffy and sparkly bubbles, I closed my eyes and dipped my feet in. But before I could even lower my butt into the tub, mom burst in…furious.

Continue reading

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Uncategorized

The Berliner Room Conundrum

To those of you blissfully living anywhere else, you probably have never heard to the Berliner Room Conundrum (or BRC for short) but to the millions of us who call Berlin our beloved city and home, the BRC can make or break any apartment hunt and design project. What is it? Well, a Berliner room is a giant space in an Altbau or 100+ year-old building that resembles a room but is in fact a hallway-on-steroids!  A long-ish room with too many doors, plenty of space and little to no natural light. This magical hallway usually connects the front or street-facing part of the apartment with the courtyard-facing rooms. The conundrum: how can you maximize the use of the  space to create a room for dining, living, lounging and pretty much everything else that’s still a functioning hallway?

1. Clear Division of Space
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You have to start by dividing the space and creating smaller rooms within the larger area. In the photo, the big open space is utilized beautifully. There’s plenty of seating options but the room still has a nice flow and a clear division between the dining and living/lounging area, which is easily accessible from multiple points throughout the room. The carpet is the star of the show and it really pulls the living area together and defines the space. Carpet indicates living room, no carpet indicates dining room. A simple yet effective trick to conquer the BRC.

2. Maximize Natural Light

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Now to tackle the minimal natural light aspect of our project. A big mirror is strategically placed to maximize the natural light from the small window and enlarge the overall feel of the dining area. As an added bonus: the light fixtures are also light-reflecting! So here are two great examples of making the best of a pretty dark setup. It must be noted that the mix-matched dining chairs allow for more seating and a pretty Eclectic-chic vibe, nothing short of gorgeous!

3. C is for Color

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A splash of color is great in a dark room. It adds life and playfulness and can work in dividing up the space or pulling all the different furniture pieces together. A must in your Berliner Room but do use strategically.
4. Give Them Seating Options
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Trying to fit two 3-seater sofas in a space can be a challenge, so a great alternative is a modern chaise lounge or armless chairs. The chairs take up less space but still provide comfortable seating and a lounge-y feel with the added advantage of open accessibility. No arms to restrict how you sit on the chair and which way you’re facing is a win-win! and with that in mind, do consider an ottoman.

5. Go Big or Go Home!
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When you need to break up a big space into smaller spaces, floor carpets are great as well as other visual aides . Go for large mirrors, larger than life art and floor to ceiling bookshelves. By covering a wall with a large mirror, you will be creating the feeling of a second room within the room as well as adding more depth and dimension, not to mention enhancing the NATURAL light (I can not stress that enough!)
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Large art pieces are also a great trick for creating the multiple-room feel. A large piece dominates a wall, creating an interesting focal point and is the updated, elegant and easy-to-install version of wallpaper. Go for color but don’t overcommit with a too colorful, too dominant piece that can overtake the whole room. Something this big is statement enough, so choose carefully and go for something that casts a hint of color for that extra added elegance. The point it to create an interesting wall that ties a group of furniture pieces  together whilst complimenting the otherrooms within your Berliner room.
6. Bookshelf Galore
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Bookshelves are by far my favorite way of creating independent smaller spaces. They’re great for storage (don’t we all need more of that) and can house books, art as well as photos and other home items such as glassware. Putting a toy on a bookshelf will automatically make it seem like a collector’s item (I dare you, try it with Pikachu). They’re also great at   dividing up a room. There’s something so serious  about a floor to ceiling bookshelf, so pair it with a comfy armchair and a floor lamp and BOOM you’ve got yourself a reading/ lounging corner.

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Here’s another example of a modern and minimalistic bookshelf. The industrial-feeling piece is paired with a big armchair and a low hanging ceiling lamp to create that brooding reading nook which will resolve  all of your Berliner room conundrums. If not, it will at least give you a place to dwell on them some more!

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living, musing

Guess who’s back…

…back again!

I am back, so ladies and gents, tell a friend.

After an extended absence, shall we call it maternity leave (oh, you got me!) Yes, I did it. I had a baby and now you know. The big secret of 2013 is out and Theyoungmrs. is a youngmom now.

But to my readers’ delight, this blog will not morph into a mommy blog because quiet honestly I don’t have any interest in sharing my parenting experience with anybody. I find mommy blogs to be for the most part preachy and I don’t want to inflict my child-rearing philosophy on anyone. If you have babies then good for you, go forth and enjoy raising them any which way you want (as long as it’s filled with love and laughter ;P– see how i got preachy there. It just can’t be helped).

So to keep it nice and sweet. I am back, there might be some mommy stories here and there but for the most part this blog will continue on being whatever it is that my writing wishes it to be.

And on an unrelated note: My family and I are now very firmly rooted in Berlin. More on that in future. Don’t forget to come back for some juicy updates.

Here’s a hint: APARTMENT RENOVATION.

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living, reading

Monophobia…it’s a real thing

Her Fearful Symmetry-- book cover = awful

I think I’m going to start a new book list entitled “Shitty books that are horrible just horrible…”

The first spot on the list goes to:

– Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger (famed author of the Time Traveller’s Wife).

I never read The Time Traveller’s Wife and I’m positive that I never will. I did watch the movie and it failed to impress me and so did this book.

The book  revolves around a ghost as a protagnist of sorts and a handful of underdeveloped flat-as-a-leaf characters. The plot is unsightly! (I think I just made up a nonsensical phrase) It just deals with a billion things at once without doing any of them justice.

In theory the book had potential (the ghost aside). It does deal with 2 sets of twins, one of which are mirror-image twins, Highgate Cemetry, even Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and DEATH! already 4 fascinating and very frutiful topics but the end result is  messed up and sad (not in tragic way but more pititful-way sorta sad).

I’m not gonna waste another minute on it.  So read it if you wanna waste another minute or a couple of hours on complete BS.

Ok but back to Monophobia or fear of being alone. I experience that all the time especially since I live in a place where the number of my friends can be counted on one hand. So yeah that does come across in this shitty book  and I think, me being the all awesome wanna-be psychiatrist, that Julia (one of the twins in the book ) was suffering from it slightly. SO there goes the connection.

What does it mean for me, you ask?

It means that when I’m alone for extended periods I do get a little anxious. I feel very alone and not just physically. My research tells me that Monophobia is not something that one can be talked out of. It’s a fear on a primitve level in the part of the brain that still acts a lil bitch  baby. Monophobes can acutally even be really outgoing if they’re with a “trusted companion”. Oh but where to find a Trusty Companion? online of course :P So yeah, I guess it’s really dire in extreme cases but since mine is just budding I think I’ll be ok for the next couple years or so.

so that’s it for me. I could write more but then I’d bore you. If you wanna know more about my neurosis give me a shout and I’ll write a follow up… maybe we can even explore my hypochondri… etc etc etc :D

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eating, living, reading

Wife Woes

woeness as inspired by books and food

At the risk of sounding like a drama-queen: my last couple of weeks of married life bliss have been riddled with fictional- inspired woes.

As a rule, women in my family tend to worry…a lot! It’s like a genetic thing, a dominant trait that never skipped a generation since Dinosaurs-as-pets-time. So anyway, what am I worrying about, you ask? Well, for one thing…there’s the wide vastness of the future but at the same time more tangible things like weight-gain.

Woe number 1: Studies (and experience) would have you believe that married women tend to gain weight after the wedding…..so my new dietary obsession, Nutella,  is making me nervous, but rest assured the pounds haven’t started to show yet.

Woe number 2: the dreaded question of am I losing my Feministic ideals and turning into some sorta docile domestic Persian cat now that I’m married? Hence my reading of The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood (my go-to shot of feminism). The plot is simple; woman finds a man but loses herself.

Is this what’s happening to me? More importantly, why? I don’t want to spoil the ending but I would really like to get some insight onto how other women deal with this? If I was still at my parental home or back at Uni that’ll never be a problem, but living in a new place where all my friends just happen to be the Husband’s friends really does complicate matters. I can’t seem to shake the feeling that my husband is my backbone. Without him, I’d be all squid-like and mushy…..yeah I guess The Edible Woman’s 60s theme is still relevant in my 2012 life. I’ll ponder on that some more while I chill in my snow-encircled aquarium  apartment  and eat spoonfuls of Nutella:P

Woe number 3: CHILDREN  (luckily not my own…yet)!  I caved into Internet peer-pressure and I finally read Room by Emma Donoghue and I was mesmerized (read it now. ok! thanks). On a night plagued with food poisoning, in a haunted Munich hotel room, I read the book. By daybreak I was talking like a 5 year old (effect of intensive all-nighter-reading, obviously). The book’s greatest achievement is its ability to simply yet powerfully illustrate children’s psychology and the environment’s effect on their physical and emotional growth (it manages to do all that while still sounding like an adorable 5 year old). “Bonsai Boy” is yet another thing that every mom has to worry about now, as if “Law and Order: SVU” wasn’t enough.

So my worries are drowned by spoonfuls of Nutella…and thus the cycle re-beings!

P.s. I’m currently reading Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. It’s really promising…quite a bundle of future-woes waiting to be added to my list.

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