27 May 2014

Lee Scratch Perry and Instagram!

Weekend has been weird; parties were unpleasant and expensive, the atmosphere was so odd that Boris and I had a white night walking through the Berlin streets instead of wasting our time at some venue.
We did however visit a cool concert in the squat Köpi. Somehow after visiting squats witht heir super cheap drinks/ entry fees it´s a shame to go to a more expensive club and waste your money there. You kind of feel belong to squats the more you visit them.

Anyhow, the band we saw at Köpi was a post punk trio from London, Shopping. We went to see them because we didn´t want to go to a party because concerts can provide support to the scene so much better, and after listening to their music online they´ve sounded not like the usually punk stuff we saw at Köpi before! So we were curious.
If you love post punk and (even) post punk revival, you would find this band interesting.

This saturday Boris and I are also going to see Lee Scratch Perry, perhaps the inventer of dub music, who has been active since the 70s and is probably 100 years old, so we just had to see him while we can! Boris has been listening to a lot of dub these past months, and although we couldn´t attend Andy Horace´s gig last month, we sure couldn´t miss Perry. It was my late birthday present for Boris. I gave him a ticket to Portishead last year ;)
We are excited for the gig, to see someone so historic as Perry, and to feel the somewhat darkness of dub music live!

Due to very boring classes I´ve now opened and Instagram! Yay me, more of my beautiful self for the world to witness! As that was the last thing I needed when I actually can´t concentrate almost in any class (yet going over the material at home by myself makes me very interested and I do learn a lot).
Here is the link, I´ve also added it to my link list in the sidebar.

So far so good, I have officially found a new job and started working yesterday! 3 shift of 4 hours each week in a pleasent atmosphere where I can wear whatever I want and not shred my body to pieces from exhaustion in the process was exactly what I needd!

Wish you a lovely rest of the week, and I hope you are enjoying the beautiful warm days and not wasting them in different facilities getting your head educated! :D

N. Finsternis

23 May 2014

Lancaster skin care products review

Woah, a skin care product review! That´s too high end for me.... but when Boris´ parents visited us in December 2013, his mother brought some Lancaster products for me as a gift (she is a fan of the line). I was very grateful for receiving a dozen samples and a few masks, despite the following:

  • I don´t usually use skin care products except for facial cremes. I generally have no idea what they are for/ if they will change anything in my life.
  • I am a poor student and obviously have no money (and therefore no curiosity) for most quality skin care products.
But half a year has passed since then (omg) and I can now do a review for you, because why not!
Since this whole sphere is very unexplored, this is more of  "your average idiot" review ;)

Good news!
Lancaster are cruelty free, so huge thumbs up for that one! 

A list of what I´ve got as a whole, and reviews on the products I´ve used + pictures are below.

  1. Flash smoothing scrub
  2. Flash purity mask
  3. Flash hydration mask
  4. Cleansing foam
  5. Purifying perfecting toner (face water)
  6. A sample of eye cream
  7. A dozen samples of perfecting night creme.
  8. Cleanser milk
That´s a lot of stuff! I´ve tried everything except for the milk, the toner I´ve tried only once and it was weird. so here we go:

1. Lancaster Flash Smoothing Scrub

I wasn´t "getting" almost all of the products except this scrub. It felt really good, and my face was really smooth the day after.
The scrub is very orange with even more orange sand-like stuff in. I remember having a scrub in my early teens, it wasn´t bad, so maybe that´s why I enjoyed Lancaster´s scrub as well.

So yeah, I recommend!

2. Lancaster Flash Purity Mask

ok so this was a cool mask. I normally don´t know what masks are for, not using them usually, and you know, I don´t see my skin turning flawless so why should I care?
But generally speaking this mask was very relaxing. The consistence is creamy and transparent, and when left on face either burns (pleasantly) or cools (also pleasantly). I felt my skin interacting with it, so I thought ok, it works then!

3. Lancaster Flash Hydration Mask

Now, this shit was weird. Linking the pics from the website I can now see that there is a reasonable explanation for each product, when you need it, why you need it. I haven´t red it yet and for the shear humor of this post I would say that this mask is weird. It is a light turquoise cream, which gets super hard and cemented on face after a few seconds!!! It gets so hard I couldn´t move my mouth. Washing wasn´t a problem, but I didn´t feel so relaxed and nice after it like after the Purity Mask. So I have no idea what this is for. Probably to contain the sexist imagery of women wearing green masks with cucumbers in order to scare male flat mates.

4. Lancaster Cleansing Foam

This was horrific. Seriously, I have nothing positive to say about the foam. It says on the foam that it can even be used as a makeup remover. Well I tell you it´s a damn lie. Even my cheapy cleansing gel from the drug store did a better job removing already removed makeup leftovers + oil makeup remover from my face leaving zero trace. This foam was stupid, I just wanted to finish it so I can buy my cheapy gel.....
so yeah, not recommended at all...

5. Lancaster Purifying Perfecting Toner

This is basically facial water, put it on a cotton pad, rub over face and that´s it. I didn´t really get it, it wasn´t as excited as the other products.

6. Lancaster Eye Cream

I couldn´t find the picture of the sample online. But I guess the product would look like this? My sample was beige colored, so maybe not...
On time as a photoshoot a very unhappy model told me that I am still too young to understand the importance of eye cream in my life. So when I had to use Lancaster´s eye cream I had low expectations. Yet this cream was amazing!!!!! It really lifted the area around my eyes in very tired mornings, it felt absolutely great! It didn´t make my eyes big though, which was quite disappointing, but I really loved it still. This was the best product from everything I had, I really recommend it!

7. Lancaster Perfecting Night Cream

I have like a ton of samples of this cream. So far so good, I still have my own night cream so I don´t use this one a lot. But I loved the texture of the cream, it is the exact fatness as I would like, and it smells lovely. I use it as a day cream sometimes.

So there you go, straight forward with my inexperienced opinion.
Do you use skin care products? Which would you recommend?

N. Finsternis

17 May 2014

Totenwald - new dark punk band, photos and videos!

I can finally have a little show and tell about Totenwald, a new Berlin based band where Boris plays guitar in. Sergej (former Tanzkommandi Untergang basist) made the band, and his (everso riot grrl doll) girlfriend Trish Tank is the singer.
I´ve finally had the chance to take photos at their concert (because Squats), and so I´ve decided to shove a video of another concert in Hamburg they´ve had. Last month they´ve warmed up Metro Cult and Dystopian Society (and this post).

Some photos from this week´s concert. I was so happy to attend one, because this week is nothing but a mindfuck, yet I was so damn tired and had a stupid Seminar the day after so we had to leave early.

And of course I can share some music with you!!! Shot by a dear friend from a different concert which I didn´t attend, but I was so excited to see that the sound was quite good :)

Totenwald / Gentrification X

Totenwald / Cosmic Loneliness

Hope you´ve enjoyed, have a punk weekend and free time! I certainly hope to have some fun this sunday, we will be celebrating Boris´ birthday!

N. Finsternis

12 May 2014

Turns Out- I have Panic Attacks

It has been very difficult for me to bring myself up to writing a personal post, where I would talk not about past experiences or memories, but something that is completely new and confusing to me, that I cannot even explain to myself.
Before I start, here is a disclaimer:

1. Although I will be talking about myself here, this post is detailed with my few panic attack experiences and can trigger the same thoughts or behavior in others. I really wish this won´t happen to any of you, but just in case, be safe and if this post is making you uncomfortable you can certainly ignore it.
2. I am only speaking for myself and about my personal experiences. Panic attacks are various and can reach a lever of panic disorder which I do not have. This is a post to help myself make clear of the situation.
3. If some of you know me, please don´t worry. Everything is alright, this is just an informative post that I would like to help myself with and maybe be helpful to someone else out there. I am perfectly fine and there is nothing to worry about.


Before I get started on the matter, I thought that explaining the term Panic Attack can be helpful:

Panic attacks are periods of intense fear or apprehension that are of sudden onset[1] and of variable duration from minutes to hours.[2] Panic attacks usually begin abruptly, may reach a peak within 10 to 20 minutes, but may continue for hours in some cases.[2][3] Panic attacks usually subside on their own over the next several hours.[citation needed] Often, those afflicted will experience significant anticipatory anxiety and limited symptom attacks in between attacks, in situations where attacks have previously occurred.[citation needed]The effects of a panic attack vary. Some, notably first-time sufferers, may call for emergency services. Many who experience a panic attack, mostly for the first time, fear they are having a heart attack or a nervous breakdown.[4] Common psychological themes associated with panic attacks include the fears of impending death or loss of sanity;depersonalisation is relatively common.

Basically a panic attack is the feeling of worry and dread in a situation where that worry and dread would normally won´t be caused. After reading a very helpful post about panic attacks (in a blog that I unfortunately cannot find at the moment) the best example for panic attacks is the following:
Having a panic attack is when in a line of parked cars on the street, one single car is suddenly ringing its alarm after someone touched it slightly with a finger. Unlike all other cars which would set their alarm only after their window has been broken.

So in other words, having a panic attacks is like having a very sensitive reaction to different situations, where the body triggers a "protective reaction" when it allegedly feels threatened (although in reality nothing is happening that can be dangerous to you). 

How did I find it out?
I found it out after it happened 3 times. I was never diagnosed with anything in my life, so the assumption that what I´ve suffered from was a panic attack is fully my own, considering all the information I´ve read about it on the internet, videos I´ve seen on youtube explaining the symptoms that I´ve realized I´ve been having. The more I become older though, the more I want to diagnose myself, because I am also suspecting of suffering from self harm without actually admitting it to myself.
Which is actually why I began to research the matter. It has always been very important to me to be transparent with myself and help me understand myself better. It has been always important to me to know exactly what is going on in my mind and body and to not be in denial or neglect important physiological and psychological developments that I might be having through the years. I don´t know why I am like that, but it really has been a matter to me all my life. Which has brought me to come in terms with having panic attacks.

First experience
Before having any experiences at all, I had a friend who suffered from it (I hope she doesn´t any more). Once when being at her house she began having a panic attack, which was shear mystery to me. When it happened, I´ve felt totally helpless because I´ve wanted to help her in any way I could, but she told me it had nothing to do with me, nor was her panic attack caused by me. I´ve really wanted to help her, but couldn´t understand how something could be immediately wrong with a person out of the blue...

That was before I´ve had it as well.
The first time happened 2 years ago when I was at work at the technical support center I´ve worked at in Israel. That work was very stressful and horrible, but it had never ever triggered a panic attack in me until that day. I came work in the morning and after a few minutes into my shift I began to feel heavy beating in my chest, I began to shake and felt very very cold despite being dressed well. I put my headphones and microphone on my desk and felt I couldn´t go on. I had no idea what was going on, as I slept well that night, ate a good breakfast and had a generally good mood that day (despite not wanting to go to work of course).
I approached the shift manager and ask for a break, because I just couldn´t do anything with myself. After sitting on the chair and hugging myself I´ve decided to do something and when on break, drank coffee outside of the building until the feeling went away.
Looking on it back, I realized why I had a panic attack. In that time I had some issues with my mother. It was the time when Boris and I moved in together, I´ve stopped playing the recorder, which was exactly the opposite of what my mother wanted me to do in life. Fearing that she was disappointed in me, it was a very difficult time to understand what were my real goals in life and how I viewed my mother in general (getting out of the house and looking at her from a different view with all her weaknesses suddenly exposed was a very painful hit for me). Only a couple of month, even maybe a year later I´ve realized what had caused my panic attack. Actually after the incident occurred I´ve suspected that it might have been it.

Second experience
Happened last spring at a night club, 2 years after the first panic attack! Boris and I went to an occasional goth party here in Berlin. We were also about to meet friends there, and I was generally in a positive mood ready to party! However, when we came into the venue and went down to the cellar where the party was held, it happened. The cellar was very crowded and smoked until there was literally no oxygen inside (a common ventilation problem bothering no one in European venues). After a few minutes in that venue I felt the worst, I went with Boris to the main entrance of the venue which was on the first floor of the building, where I sat hugging myself again like in the first time, I was shaking and felt very very distressed. Boris was clueless the same as was I the first time I watched that friend of mine having a panic attack. What helped was to get out of the venue (despite paying entrance money, which I was sorry for). We walked on the streets until Boris got me coffee and a croissant. After eating I´ve felt much much better, but decided not to come back to the venue ever again.
The conditions of the venue are indeed a very logical trigger for a panic attack. What was odd to me is that I have been enjoying myself a lot in other cellar-like venues and absolutely loved the atmosphere there, even when there were a lot of people around. I couldn´t recall a crowded and stuffed occasion from my past that could have triggered the panic attack.

Third experience, final so far...
Happened this winter in another situation where I´ve least expected it. Boris and 2 good friends of ours went to a squat place to diy ours and their band pins. The squad held a pub and we just sat there with the machine. I was very excited, since I´ve designed the logo for the pins of both bands, and was so happy that the´ve liked it and we would sit all together and make it and would have quality time as well. However, when we sat down I had a panic attack, despite being surrounded by best friends in a place I knew I wouldn´t be hurt (I´ve visited and am visiting squats regularly and I always enjoy the atmosphere and feel so much better there than in other mainstream places). What helped was Boris who bought me a frizzy drink, and I drank the wine that we brought with us later on.

The point is, after these 3 happenings I´ve had some things that were and weren´t clear to me. And because this is something that has never ever happened to me before, I´ve been analyzing it ever since.

  •  All panic attacks felt the same, and were obviously unexpected.
  • What helped to feel better again was Boris who suggested different things such as food and drink and asked what would help me. Eating or drinking is what makes the panic attack go away.
  • Why do panic attacks keep happening in places where I´ve always felt good at? Except for the club incident, all other places were never causing me to panic before. Although in other cellar-clubs I´ve always felt comfortable, and never feared big crowds in my life.
  • How come I´ve never experienced panic attacks before?? I´ve never had such problems as a child and teenager, except from being very depressed as a teen (and never suffering from the same lever of depression after my teenage years?). 
  • Where in my lifetime something happened, that has brought the panic attacks? I do hope that thinking in this way makes sense, otherwise I have no explanation why I am having panic attacks in the middle of my life.
To summarize this, I am writing this post to help me have an overview of the happenings and maybe come up with an answer soon. What is most mysterious to me, is that I´ve never had problems making life decisions, nor when doing something majorly as moving to a different country, which was of course worrying and scary, but it has never triggered a panic attack in me ever once, not even the hardest part of it!
So with my goal to understand what is happening in me, I am trying to find out how come a generally balanced person as myself would have panic attacks in the least expected period in his life? Was it caused by a determining event? I am eager to find out, and the more I read about panic attacks and anxiety the more I am less afraid of having it, the more I know how to help myself when it would occur. Again, with the last 3 panic attacks I had absolutely no problem living and enjoying my life.

I know that a lot of people are struggling with all kinds of disorders and much difficult states of panic attacks. Thus I am sorry this post is more helping myself than providing advice to others. Truth is, I had very little experience with panic attacks and feel it would be a lie to advice people who suffer from the worse states of it. I am sure other are well aware of themselves as much as I of myself.
Either way, I am thinking more and more about consulting a professional as the time goes by. Telling this story to my mother however was a big relief to me, since she understood me and even told me a story of the only time in her life she had a panic attack as well. Her understanding made me confront my situation with more confidence.

Thank you so much if you´ve read this post. I feel like I would write more personal posts from time to time, hope it is alright.
Have a good week and be safe!

N. Finsternis

10 May 2014

Springtime Campus

Although is has felt more like Autumn the past week, last week Berlin was blooming with Springtime, pollen frenzy and warmth (the beautiful european kind of warmth, not the hell fires of Israel).

Freie Universität where we study is spread upon little houses in one neighborhood, so Boris and I only rarely get to meet each other. On Wednesdays we sometimes manage to, and last week I´ve decided to treat him for a delicious brownie our university cafeteria is serving. We generally have really good food there :)

 It was such an amazing day it felt almost wrong to waste it on studies XD.
Since focusing on homework hacks lately I´ve been taking my studies a bit more lightly than before, which helps to relieve stress in general. Pity though, we are having quite the boring second semester, but a shit load of (ungraded) homework to do -_-

I´ve also found a really nice long black dress at a Wallmart-like shop which I enjoy tangling in.
I sort of found a new part time job as well! It is a fundraising company where I would have to call rich people (who are usually funding already) and kindly ask them to fund different good cause organizations, such as animal shelters, refugees supporters etc etc. I am more than eager to pimp my German for this job, as it is very important to me to be able to integrate myself in society and bring my language to a level where it won´t be a problem to find a job in my field in the future. Schooling starts next week where I´ll see if I can actually pull it off. Keeping my fingers crossed!

And so I shall continue watching Samurai Champloo and watch a movie with Boris later today. Have a calm weekend everyone!!!

N. Finsternis

3 May 2014

Gotta Work, Bitch + First Etsy Buys

This is exactly what I haven´t been doing these past 2 weeks. Balancing work and studies is a pain in the neck that leaves not a minute to relax and not a thought for creativity...
Working as room service at a hotel is one of those things I thought I can do, but after my body was destroyed from the physical work I´ve done today I´ve come to the conclusion that it´s not for me. Going back home from a shift leaves me exhausted with no strength to even write a blog, not to mention to do homework :/
I cannot do physical work (cannot stand on feet while working because of blood flow problems) and I was brought for other things to this world. I came to Berlin to get an education and be creative, and not to polish toilets. I still keep wondering how do those 50 year old mommies do it though?

So in order to cheer myself up I´ve laid my hands on the freshly opened PayPal account and ordered some things on Etsy. I was very excited to browse the website "for real" this time, as I haven´t ever had an online monetary account before in my life!!!

I have restrained myself to buying things below 10 euros and those which I have been looking for for a long time aka stuff that I want to have because of their great meaning for me.
I would say that I´ve found Etsy to be more trustworthy and focused when it comes to jewelry and very specific stuff. One can get really lost on Ebay and it felt like a scam waiting for me around every corner...

pandoraalina on Etsy
First item that I´ve wanted for a long time now is a simple moon necklace. I was happy to find a very cheap one. It didn´t even matter to me the material from which it was made, but the round shape of the crescent. This item is something of spiritual value to me and I could find something like this in the stores.

ilovelotus on Etsy
The second item is yet another necklace, but this time a clear quartz pendant! Due to me learning the crystals since a month now I´ve really wanted a simple pendant to wear at days when I would need it. I´ve already bought a few small crystals at an esoteric shop in Berlin and so far my feeling with them has been very positive. I´ve carried an amethyst crystal with me one day when I felt in the need for calming myself, and I´ve felt a difference, which was very exciting.... The clear quartz has been shipped already (I can even track it down, wow!) and I am very excited to have it.

Note: I wasn´t too enthusiastic about buying crystals online, especially after reading some crystal guiding articles online. One should never ever buy crystals that come from China, since they are faked and thus their price is comfortably low. Real crystals cost more, but the kind of price one would want to pay for a powerful stone... I´ve asked ilovelotus what the origin of the crystal was before buying it. She said they came from Brazil, which is cool, so I´ve ordered it later on. 

I am indeed very excited to get my stuff and keep my hands from further buying! When the stuff arrives I would be happy to do a review for you guys as well, that can be fun!

N. Finsternis