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Monday, September 29, 2014

Musik Monday - Die Twinnies: Where are they now?

My most popular post by far is Musik Monday - Die Twinnies from over 2 years ago.  When I first posted the video, it was already 2 years old itself and what happened to the adorable rollerskating, accordion-playing, singing duo was a mystery.  Now, 4 years after the video was first posted, people are still writing comments about how much they love it and asking whatever happened to the girls.  I don't have all the answers, but I did some investigating and came up with something for all you Twinnies fans.

Franziska and Astrid in the Twinnies days (source:

According to the birthdays listed on the duo's Wikipedia page, Astrid and Franziska are now both 18 years old (they were about 13 when the original video was made).  Unfortunately, it looks like the girls have chosen different paths and, at least as far as their music careers go, parted ways.  While Franziska (Franzi) is still in the public eye and pursuing music, Astrid seems to have stepped out of the limelight for a more private life.

Honestly, all I could find of Astrid is what I think is her Facebook page.  Please do *not* friend her or bother her using that link.  First of all, I can't be 100% sure it's her (only 99% sure), and secondly, it's private for a reason.  It looks like that's her personal Facebook for her personal life.  I'm not sure how she'd feel about fan mail, but if you do send messages or anything, please be kind and respectful.  It looks like she's happy and surrounded by some good friends.  Hopefully all is going well for her!

Die Twinnies Astrid before and after
Astrid then and now (source: Facebook)

Franzi was a lot easier to find.  Her Facebook page is made for her fans, so please like it to keep up with what she's doing!  She's still performing music on stage, but it looks like she may have taken a small break for a couple of years.

Die Twinnies Franzi before & after
Franzi then and now (source: Facebook)

Since June 2013, Franzi has been in Stefanie Hertel's DirndlRockBand.  Thanks to that, she's been touring with them in several countries and been with them on stage on on television.  Franzi's Facebook page also chronicles her adventures on the road and what she's doing outside of the band.  She writes in German, but there are plenty of pictures and there's always the Google translate button.  I'm sure she'd love to not only have more likes on her page, but also to hear from her fans.  Hopefully her music career continues strong and her talent shines through!

DirndleRockBand (source:

Franzi performing with Stefanie Hertel at Musi Open Air 2014 (source: Facebook)

All is not lost Twinnies fans! Franzi also has a youtube account.  And there are some videos of her and Astrid hidden among the other great videos.  Here's the most recent one I could find.  Enjoy!

 Both girls have become beautiful young ladies and I wish them success in whatever they choose to pursue!  Hopefully this was helpful to everyone curious about where Die Twinnies are now!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Filme Friday, a new monthly post

So far, I've done Musik Monday and Spotlight Saturday.  It felt like something was missing though.  Then it hit me: Movies!  I'm a TV and movie junkie.  I would much rather be at home watching a movie than out with a bunch of people on a free night.  That's something I'd love to share with other people.  So, one Friday of each month (unless I'm feeling really ambitious), I'll be reviewing a movie.

Of course, in the spirit of the blog, these will be German movies.  And, why not?  I've always said that music is a great language learning tool, and movies are as well.  Both foreign music and movies not only allow people to hear (and see) the language being spoken, but also share a piece of the culture.

I'm looking forward to sharing some of my favorite movies with everyone and watching some new ones!  Suggestions and requests are definitely welcome!

Look for this new segment starting next month.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Musik Monday - 99 Red Balloons on red balloons

This is pretty amazing:

The guy's name is Andrew Huang and this video is him performing Nena's 99 Luftballons (99 Red Balloons) using only red balloons.  I can only imagine how long this took him.  He has a lot of other awesome videos like this on his youtube channel.  There's a whole song challenge playlist.  He's a talented artist and everyone should check him out!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Steuben Parade 2014!

This Saturday, September 20 is the 57th annual German-American Steuben Parade in New York City!  The parade starts at noon (get there early) and goes up 5th Ave from 68th St to 86th St.  Unfortunately, the Oktoberfest sold out almost instantly as always, but the parade itself is so much fun.

Some of you are aware that I tried out for Miss German-America (twice) and was the Princess in 2012.  That was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, even with the stress of attending so many events and always having my Princess-face on.  Now that I know so much more about the inner workings of the parade, I appreciate it more.  I also know a lot of wonderful people because I was in the court that year.  Even before 2012, I cannot remember a year I didn't attend the parade.  I was always on the German School of CT float as a kid and watched the parade a few times as well.  I didn't realize how different all the cultures and costumes within one country could be until I actually saw the whole parade.  It's really an amazing event.  I could write a lot more, but it might be better to share some of my favorite pictures from the last few years.

My first year watching from the side

You don't need to be in the parade to have fun

German School of CT

My club in the traditional Frisian dress

Restaurants and bars always have fun floats

Always adorable kids in lederhosen and dirndls

Bavarian Club Edelweiss Westchester

Foehrer Musik Freunden!

Celebrating German-Americans

Still trying to perfect our waves

Bet there will be even more German soccer fans after the World Cup this year!
Still my desktop background picture

Lots of bands

Lots of bikes

Keep an eye out for these guys!


Beard Teanm USA

So many German Autos

Bierhaus NYC

Always a Trabi

Back on the court in 2012

There was an actual wedding during last year's parade

Parade wear: Berlin Ampelmann shirt and a Dirndl

A break for a quick soccer game in the middle of the parade

Big fluffy dogs!
And a bonus picture of Miss German-America and her court from the first Steuben Parade in 1957:

(Source: and German Consulate General NY's Facebook)

There are so many more, but it's a lot to take in at once.  If that's not enough, here's the link to my Facebook albums from the 2009 Parade and the 2010 Parade.  I'll have even more to share after Saturday!

If the parade interests you, please go, buy a cornflower if you find one of the girls selling them, and try some of the other events this year and next year.  I guarantee a fun time!

Check out the Steuben Parade Website for more info!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Germans try saying "squirrel"

It's the middle of the week and we all could use a pick-me-up.  So, here's a video of Germans trying to say the word "squirrel."

Whoever thought of making this video is a genius.  It's interesting too because it shows how we somewhat lose the ability to form certain words and sounds.  Put a bunch of English-speakers on camera trying to say German words and it would be just as hilarious.  Of course, there's a response video where exactly that happens because the Internet exists :)

Enjoy your Wednesday everyone!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Puzzling Post

It's been almost 2 months since I've posted.  I made a goal in June during a 6 week challenge to make a post a week, or 6 posts in those 6 weeks.  I did that!  But after the challenge, the habit didn't stick and I faltered again.  I'm not sure how to improve my posting consistency and persistence, but I'm going for 2 posts a week, even if they're small like this one.  I may need to set aside specific time, so it's like an enjoyable chore.  I really do love writing in this blog and sharing German things and crafts.  It's just very easy to get distracted by life.  How do others make sure they post consistently in a personal blog?

Here's a simple post with fun pictures about one of my favorite hobbies...puzzles of course!  I love puzzles, but rarely finish them because my cat loves to attack them.  I'm pretty sure one I've been working on recently is missing many pieces thanks to Spartacus hunting them and then carrying them off.  At least I haven't found any in his water bowl, a place where he likes to drop other toys.

cat puzzle
The stalk

cat puzzle
The hunt

cat puzzle
The theft

cat puzzle
The destruction
I have the mat to roll up the puzzle, but as you can see, Spartacus doesn't care if I'm right in the middle of fitting a piece in the puzzle.  Sometimes, I do manage to finish the whole thing with minimal cat interference!  One day, when there was no work to do, my coworkers and I put together a puzzle.  I consider it a great way to build teamwork (great excuse for fun).  After we finished, someone had the idea to put our names on the box.  We had signed another puzzle and framed it, but this one was a family gift and we didn't want to ruin it.  She also wanted the chance to build it again in the future.  So, we signed and dated the box instead.

Finished work puzzle!
That gave me the idea to do the same thing with my own puzzles.  Since then, I've been putting my name and the date on the inside of the box lid.  I like redoing puzzles, so it will be nice to look back at when or if I had done it in the past.  And if others complete it later and add their names, that's even more fun!

farm puzzle
Farm/sign puzzle was so fun
One more thing: the dollar store is the best place to find random puzzles to do.  They don't always have anything, but they're only a dollar and sometimes are 500+ pieces!