To prepare for the the Goethe-Zertifikat A1: Start Deutsch Test, I took A1.1 and A1.2 classes at the VHS Düsseldorf with the great Nastassia Lutz. She was a great teacher who made learning German seem fun. Frau Lutz also knows what is like to learn German as she herself taught herself German from the beginning. In combination with the classes  I used the book Fit fürs Goethe-Zertifikat A1: Start Deutsch 1.Deutsch als Fremdsprache / Lehrbuch mit integrierter Audio-CD, 18.99€ at This book really covered every aspect of the text and subjects that will be helpful to learn/review. There are exercises and word training, but I highly recommend taking the practice tests in the book and also others available on the Goethe website. Writing the practice letters from the book and doing the exercises in the speaking section really, really helps. I scored a 96 out of 100 points on the exam. I was beyond relieved. I’ve also used it while getting to the B.1 level.

Good luck! Feel free to comment or ask any questions.

Last week I read two, albeit long, great articles one on Chris Rock and the other about Jon Stewart. Both are taking a worthy and challenging risk with the making of their upcoming films. Stewart has Rosewater and Rock Top Five. Both articles are super entertaining and great insights into decisions that come into play with their long careers.

Chris Rock Article in the New Yorker

Jon Stewart NY Mag Article

I want to see both films!

The beautiful songstress FKA Twigs (derived from a nickname aka Formally Known As Twigs) is from the UK. I remember seeing her with one of the dudes from Twilight and she appeared somewhere else. Since I didn’t post earlier, I got smacked with her Google Glass Collaboration video a few weeks ago, which was also amazing. Just check out her sound. This is my favorite song of hers so far Papi Pacify. She reminds me of Rihanna + Sade + The Weeknd.


“I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me. I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.”
by José Micard Teixeira

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Finally Versailles

I finally dug through the files to pull out Versailles. Let me just say that I have always wanted to visit this Palace since learning about it in History classes. The opulence, the splendor! And none of the books did it justice. Moulding on moulding. It was sooo over the top. Applause.

While searching for new podcasts at work. I happened upon a cool cookbook, Good & Cheap created by Leanne Brown while getting a Master’s in food studies. She didn’t like that people on SNAP, food stamps, and tight budgets had limited choices. I have been considering going back to being a vegetarian and possibly gluten-free. This book is chocked full of quick and cheap recipes that would be good for kids and busy people. Meals show total cost and cost per serving with a great variety. Example recipes include Peanut Belly Granola Bars, Mexican Street Corn, Filipino Chicken Adobo, Tofu Hot Pot, Roti from scratch, Caramelized Bananas, and Tzatziki Sauce. Most recipes include options and variations.

Free Book available online here. I am totally thinking about what I have at home to whip something up tonight. Let me know if you make anything and I’ll do the same.


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Paris in a lot of Pictures and a few Words

So in July, yes, over a month ago, we took a train to Paris. It was my first time seeing the lovely city that I always imagined I’d like for the grandeur and elegance of the people and places. Well I was right. I can’t say what hasn’t been said already. It was beautiful! The only thing I excluded was the Palace of Versailles, as it deserves its own post.

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Carla Keks x Patrick Cole

Another cool guy I met here is Personal Trainer, Patrick Cole, also located in the NRW area. Patrick is a training triple threat, he can help you improve your basketball game, jump into Plyometrics, and all things involving tailored workouts to your needs. We squeeze in some time this week to do some stretches and basic cardio this week. In addition to a healthy mind you should also have a healthy body. He showed me some interesting activities that I had never tried, and we had some good laughs along the way. Hit him up here or follow him on twitter @patcolefitness!

I saw this beautiful girl SZA’s interview on the Breakfast Club and decided to check out her music. Why had no one told me about her? Really chill and great for easing in the the afternoon at work.

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Carla Keks x YODA

I met Yoda, a Japanese English-speaking stylishly awesome Barber and super chill nice guy,  in my last German class at the VHS. He invited  to me to the last photo exhibition at the Salon Maruo where he works. The Salon is definitely cool. Located near the main station Düsseldorf HBF, at Stresemannstraße 28, you enter into a chic space. Exposed concrete floors, some remaining original woodwork, and interesting furniture including a display table for Yoda’s sunglass collection. R&B, house, and jazzy tunes float through the air. He hasn’t cut my hair…yet, but I personally know two happy customers. Once in the chair, he can do tapers, clean cuts, and the works with precision scissors, razors, and clippers. You can’t really see it, but the back of his shirt says something like ”Everything comes from Everything else”.  Go check him out (and his awesome magazine selection)! Tell him Carla sent you.