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The process of labor and birth is something, I wasn’t paying much attention to. At the very best, I thought I needed to know the phases, the method to give birth, the hospital of choice. Luckily I am surrounded by loved ones, who suggested other, more spiritual ways of approaching birth. First of all, my partner who made sure that the idea of making birth art doesn’t stay an idea but is put into practice. My flatmates, Juii and Malena who were eager to join the experience just for the fun of it. Inspiration came from a book that wandered already through several mothers hands. Ofira and Ido gave the book to Katharina, Katharina gave the book to me. Birthing from Within is a book about childbirth preparation. But not so much the stages of labor but the preparing through making birth art. I thought I could leave this book to my partner who has much more spiritual capacity than me. Reconsidering, I felt that maybe this was the book I needed to read.
In our birth art sessions we created drawings based on instructions given by the book: “draw a picture that expresses what being pregnant is like for you”. OR “imagine your birth as landscape. What’s the weather like?” OR “if there is a secret door to birth, what would it look like? What’s behind it?” Drawing with Aquarell and other paint was fun. Through the process and talking about it with my friends was teaching me more than I expected.
The sculpturing session with clay, we tried to be instructionless. Build and rebuild:)


I am replying to a request from several of my friends and colleagues to report about the yellow bag that I left in Växjö, Sweden when I moved back to Germany 9 years ago. Actually Mia corrected me, it must have been 7 years because I came back to clean out the apartment, but left the bag with her. After my move, the bag went into Mia’s apartment in Liedbergsgatan 25 in Växjö. When she moved to her boyfriend (now husband) Pierre at Liedbergsgatan 49b, the bag went with her. When they moved to their house in Rottne, she brought the bag and stored it in the basement. Today I visited Mia the first time after leaving the bag with her. I am excited to see what I decided 7 years ago what was not worth bringing with me but too valuable to throw away.

The home of the treasure

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Heading into the vault and heading out

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Opening the treasure bag

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Finding a treasure
(gift from Columbus, OH)          Finding heavy glass things

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Finding Ikea utensils
(Why the hell did I keep those?)

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This guy was unfortunately not in the bag, 
so I can’t keep him:-(

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When arriving here 6 months ago, I would have not guessed that 1218 Spruce St. would become not only a place to stay but a home. I will miss the walk down to the UC Berkeley campus, the smell of jasmin and every little thing I discovered on the way.

A Spruce is a tree of the genus Picea. The word “spruce” entered the English language from Old French Pruce, the name of Prussia. Spruce was a generic term for commodities brought to England by Hanseatic merchants and the tree was believed to have come from Prussia. – from Wikipedia

I have not been writing here for a long time. But at least I wanted to share some beautiful pictures taken during lunch break. I don’t mean to say that students at Berkeley don’t study. They have just found a better way to do it.

After enjoying watching Harold and Maude on the UC Berkeley lawn, my co-watcher suggested to visit the places of the scenes. We typed ‘ “Harold and Maude” filming’ scenes into google and found this:

The holy cross cemetery was impressive but left us with little clues that would help us to recognize scenes. Quite to the contrary though visiting the national golden gate cemetery. What a scary place to be, though I have to admit it has some power of attraction as off-putting as this might sound.

How cool would it be to have a map that includes literature and filming scenes. Imaging you go on a trip and Google Maps or Open Street Map shows you the exact locations of movies and books you love. I typed  ‘ “book scenes” and google maps’ and found this:

I like the internet:-)

.. or: the Gourmet Trip of the CHAOS (Cal Hiking And Outdoors Society) club

Last weekend 61 people drove to the Coe State park, parked their cars and hiked to the Gourmet spot. But before, systematic planning was needed. After numerous discussions we decided that the essentials of a hiking trip are: a candle snuffer, table cloth, a vase and red wine.

The menu at our table was:
– Pupusa (Andy’s secret family recipe)
– Quinoa Salad (a la Serena)
– Lentil Gourmet (a la Maelle)
– Red wine (Cote du Rhone and Californian Zinfandel)





Thanks to our presidents Brian and Chris, who somehow managed to make this trip happen. Thanks also to Owen for the fantastic picures! I only posted a small collection here. Check out the rest of the Owens Gourmet trip pictures

the CHAOS club claims linneage to the first UCB hiking club founded in 1910 and they claim linneage to the first hiking trips organized by Joseph Laconte (who helped founding the Sierra club together with John Muir).

Check out pictures of the first Gourmet trip in 1979

Yesterday, there was a special movie night at Oaklands New Parkway Theater. Couchsurfers from the Bay area / SF came to watch "One couch at a time". Unlike conventional theaters, here, you watch a movie by sharing the couch with others. This seemed natural for the theme of the movie: sharing. Alex Liss’s documentary of surfing 21 continents in 7 months showed that you create the most unique experiences when you share with others. If it is car sharing in Germany (Mitfahrgelegenheit), Cycling in Belgium, Food at Burningman or a couch anywhere in the world.

Of course, no word about the fact that as of 2011 couchsurfing is a for profit corporation. But then again, that wasn’t the point of the movie. At least for me and the other couchsurfers in the room, you could see and hear that Alex Liss succeeded to give a glimpse of how touching the couchsurfing experience can be.

The movie was financed by the crowd:

The screening in Oakland was sponsored by