March 31, 2011

Dr. Seuss' wisdom.

Men are like cigarettes and breaking the bad habit can be impossibly hard. Once you think you have done it and quit, don’t be fooled by thinking you may just have a sneaky one for a special occasion slip a few weeks later. You will be right back in it head over heels.  I have realized that yesterday. I’m trying to quit and not the cigarettes. So there I was thinking I could pull a sneaky one and wham! Smacked over the head, I realized that for me the sneaky ‘once in a while and will do no harm’ occasion does not work. Unfortunately I am an all or nothing girl. I know that moderation is the key to everything, even though my Mum would not agree how I twist her principal here to make it suit my mood. It doesn’t matter though, because I’m just no good at it and that blows.
So now I am attempting the nothing and having realized that lots of smokes and wine only help so far, I am trying to go the get busy and organize route. Organizing the outside always organizes my inside. Even when I was a child the last resort to save a crappy day for me was to sort my Barbie clothes and accessories. It always worked like a charm.
Due to a sad lack of Barbies in my life I started here with new colours and layout. I wasn’t feeling the girly, balmy lavender anymore, but was craving something more electric and eclectic. For the time being at least. I am one of these people who frequently move their furniture around to get a new perspective on things without moving (well, I frequently do that too, who am I kidding). I decided I can do the same with my blog. There you have it. I was able to take my sunglasses off after a while, so no worries, your eyes will get used to it. I’m also trying to infiltrate some energy into myself and my writing which I am not feeling right now and thought some bright colour may help. Will see how it goes. For now I just wanted to share something I found in my little notebook, which I use for ideas and inspirations, yesterday. It makes me smile and it makes me feel like everything is going to be alright.
“We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.” – Dr. Seuss

March 30, 2011

Rain, vacation and now I want chicken McNuggets.

This is for my sister and my Dad and a box of Pringles, my good companies on a dark New Year's Eve. I love you guys!
I overslept this morning by two hours. My co-worker texted me at 09h30 asking if I was coming in. I think my boss must have thought I wasn’t sleeping alone, because she just greeted me with a big grin when I finally stumbled into the office. Nice of her for not scolding me, but unfortunately I managed to oversleep all by myself. What a waste...
Now a few hours later I am still tired, it is still grey outside and I dream of Africa. Better said of vacation in general. To cheer me up I made the grave mistake to look at vacation pictures, which made my mood worse and now I’m crying. I want to go away! I want, no I really, really need a vacation. Just a mini vacation. A little weekend somewhere else by myself, just a tiny road trip. Pretty please, because my self-portrait vacation collection needs updating*. Common sense is prevailing, because I need to save my money and spend it wisely on:
a. Spare tire
b. Cirque du Soleil ticket
c. Dinner at The Roundhouse with RG
d. All of the above
Not really a question now, is it?
Anyhow, so I came across my pictures from last year’s vacation in Namibia with my sister and Dad. I thought I should share some of our memorable moments. For example when I taught my Dad that he mustn’t indulge in the German cliché and take his socks of when he wears sandals.
My proud Dad - isn't he cute?
He did not know that as he didn’t previously own a pair of sandals. He adapted quickly to the newly learned fashion wisdom and managed to look quite dashing in his Yves Saint Laurent-esque safari outfit with sandals sans socks. Unfortunately he also managed to get sunburn on his feet. I managed to get a lizard stuck on my ear; in fact he was biting it.
Our tour guide thought that would be hilarious for everyone to watch and make a good photo op. I must agree he was right.
Noteworthy also on this trip were the lessons we learned regarding celebrating New Year’s Eve in a place like Walvis Bay. We learned the following:
  1. If you see some bottles of Dom Perignon the day before New Year’s at a lovely French restaurant, ask them if you can buy them. Pay any price! The restaurant will be closed on 31st, but at least you have something decent to drink. Otherwise you will learn the hard way that:
  2. Namibian supermarkets only sell J.C. Le Roux. That should be forbidden. By law or something.
  3. Buy enough juice to make the J.D. Le Roux drinkable.
  4. Say no, when your guesthouse host asks you whether you want tickets for the Portuguese New Year’s party at the town hall.
  5. If you do end up in the town hall (because you didn’t listen to point 4), take your own wine. They may run out an hour into the event. Know that Portuguese are worse when it comes to punctuality than Capetonians, so come full.You may have to wait for 3 hours till they serve dinner as they need to wait for the last Portuguese to arrive.
  6. Portuguese are easily impressed – everyone was in awe when I carried three plates at a time out of the kitchen to our table. And no one seemed to mind that the meat was greyish. Maybe that’s a good thing in Portugal.
  7. Take the tea light candle decoration to make it worth the R 350 per person you spent (excluding wine – so there was really no good excuse whatsoever for it to run out) and to give ambience to the real celebration later.
  8. The real party starts here!
  9. Walvis Bay, please build a 24 hour Mc Donald’s! I don't want to eat any more Pringles as my New Year's Eve feast.
This is a true story. So next time you think you New Year’s sucked. Think again.
January 1st - better food = more fun.
*An annoying habit of mine, which others don’t mind, because they don’t know about it as I only do it when alone for obvious reasons. No results on show here as they always turn out crap. My nose grows by 50% in any given self portrait.

March 29, 2011

First timer's curriculum.

I stumbled across a blog called My First Time. While the most recent post was about parents getting divorced and therefore a bit too depressing for a foggy Tuesday, it is still a great project and got me thinking. Thinking about my firsts. Not the too obvious ones like kisses, dates and loves, but some more and admittedly random ones, which are however memorable in my life.

My first time I bought pair of shoes which cost more than $100. A lot more actually. I saw them on a lady I worked for in New York and had to have them. I played a game of tug and war over my credit card with the sales assistant. He won and I asked: “What’s your return policy?” Apparently they do not appreciate this question at Barney’s. Unfortunately for my credit card it was a first, but not a last.

Arts & Culture
My first time I remembered a French phrase without seeing it written up on a blackboard. Fais de beaux rèves. It took only five nights. My Dad always taught me the best way to learn a language is to be in bed with a native speaker. Always listen to your father.

My first time I realized communication is vital in any relationship was in Malta. I was 13, he was 15. I spoke English and German, he spoke Maltese and Italian. A relationship can only go so far when you are forced to look into each other’s eyes all day without saying a piep. That may be for a girl at least. We like to talk.

My first interview was with an actor who was the lead in my home town theatre. I had a major crush on him and decided interviewing him for our school paper was the perfect way to get close to him. Not sure what the catholic, all girls, nun school would have thought if they knew I was just using the school paper as an excuse to get to shag the local celebrity. Not that that ever happened, but a girl could dream.

My first time I was trying to drive from town to Claremont ended at the airport. Don’t ask. N2 and M3 turn offs are confusing to newbies. I ended up seeing the Springboks in their team bus though. That made for a reasonable excuse to any guy who didn’t know me better. “Yes, I looove the Springboks. In fact I drove all the way to the airport to wave them goodbye.”

Creative Writing
My first letter I wrote to my mother was written in pencil on my pink Hello Kitty note pad. She was visiting a friend for a weekend and I was devastated she was leaving me alone. I put on a brave face and wrote: “Dear Mummy, don’t be so sad that you are leaving, you will be back soon.” I put two of my favourite stickers on it, stuck it in a little ink cartridge box from my fountain pen and added two of my milk teeth. I think the teeth were quite a big deal - since I was giving them to her, I couldn’t give them to the tooth fairy ergo no present for me. Also my first time of true selflessness.

My first time I taught yoga went actually not so bad. Except my sweet Germanican accent managed to say ‘use your breasts*to massage your stomach’. Which would be quite an accomplishment if you think about it. If you want to have a good laugh in a yoga class, come to mine. I still say it at times.
*Breaths was actually what I was trying to say.

My first time I bought a vibrator. My flatmate and I realized the only place where shops are open on a Sunday afternoon is on the Reeperbahn. In the attempt to be discreet the shop put our ‘products’ in an unlabeled black bag. We then realized that every shop on the Reeperbahn does the same. Open secret I call it. We realized that too late though and only when a bouncer in front of a strip club shouted: “Honey, did you get batteries as well?”

Gotta love firsts. And then luckily you live and hopefully learn.

March 28, 2011

Weekend dreaming.

What I did this weekend? Everything and anything one should actually do on any given weekend to make it pure bliss. On Saturday morning I did make an attempt at the yoga adjustments without falling over. It went only so so. No falling over, but while adjusting I was speaking in slow motion, which I imagine to have been quite annoying for the rest of the class and it made me run way over. The rest of the day was somewhat more successful if you can call being spoilt rotten successful. I had my birthday day with Thekla. I’m sure I have mentioned that she always gives her nieces and nephews a day instead of a present for their birthdays. A day when it’s all about them. This year in addition to having an amazing feast cooked for me, I also had the joy to be at the receiving end of such a day. 
Penny, Tara and me cleaning up.
On the agenda: home spa with a bath observed by my new god children Penelope and Tara. 
Cat Massage 101.

They had already learned their lesson of rather staying out and watching after one of them had fallen into the tub the previous day. Afterwards it was on to a four-handed and two-pawed massage followed by family meal
With full pasta bellies we attended to nap time with the little ones, bubbly (which they liked almost as much as the parmesan from lunch) and some DVD choices that Dr. Maths commented with “Mein Gott!”. That coming from someone who had never seen Casablanca or Dirty Dancing as it turned out over tortillas and Corona later, I’m not too worried by my dubious taste in TV series anymore.
Sunday dawned with fresh flowers and the realization that flowers always make life and an untidy flat better. I did however attended to the closet spring cleaning and was only slightly disheartened by the too hot to take out my duvet and sheepskin slippers weather. Also steaming scarves is no fun in 32 degrees. Maybe today...if my balcony isn’t calling me or my little iBook or my bed. Too many sleep disturbances i.e. elephant imitating neighbours left me tired and grumpy this morning. But no time for a nap nor sweet dreams with it being Monday. Tonight I have the pleasure of finishing with my steaming, because weekend or not I will always have scarves...

March 24, 2011


Over the last couple of years I managed to turn myself into a sufficient driver. All thanks to my uncle who taught me with the words “I will hit you over the head if you drive off the road”. And thanks to my Mum’s patience I have learned what Giovanni better known as tomtom really means when he says "turn left, next possible right, and stay left at the traffic light". Giovanni and I had love/hate relationship while driving a rental car in Cologne for work. I would come home after a long day and the first thing my Mum would ask after putting a big glass of wine in my hand: “So how did it go with Giovanni today? Did he finally make sense?” And I would sigh and say: “Ach, I don’t know, I think I must end it. I just don’t know what he wants. Men."
I have come far since then, but I still prefer the passenger seat. I am a certified great car co-pilot and always have been. My Dad taught me as a child how to read a map and that one must always feed the driver well while driving. He himself prefers hard candy, unwrapped and put directly in the palm of his hand. But different drivers have different preferences and I can quickly adjust to the required situation and likes of the pilot. I will be the best co-pilot one can ever imagine as long as I can put my feet up on the dashboard and not having the driver complain about the little toe prints I am most likely to leave on the windscreen.
Road trips are my best. A road trip is a get-away, a drive-away, a dream-away. They don't have to be long - driving to the West Coast National Park to me is a road trip already. It gets me as excited as a two week holiday on the Seychelles.
However I do need partner in crime. A road trip requires Thelma AND Louise and I require a driver. Once I put my feet up, I will feed the driver with biltong or mango, don't interfere with speed and driving style and will only ever shout when the driver doesn't know left from right ("No, your other right!").

Every of my road trips regardless of the when's and where's and where to's had a song. Two stood against time and are still on my 'recently played' list... Happy Dreamer

I listened to it when I visited my friend Kervin in Miami. Funny enough we didn't even go on a road trip, but were just driving to town for dinner. We were driving along the MacArthur Causeway, I believe also called Bridge Road, towards Miami Beach. That Causeway is long, very long. Therefore driving to dinner on it one has perfectly legitimate reason to call it a road trip. Kervin played Happy Dreamer for me. Then I said 'again'. Then he said 'again'. Then I said 'again'. Maybe he did make an attempt to stop me at some point, but it didn't work. I kept on rewinding over and over. We played it for about 30 minutes and again on the way back (even though I don't remember that as I was in agony due to the aftermath of a sun stroke combined with a stomach full of scallop risotto).
Ever since it's our song. One will start to hum it, the other will join immediately. It also works in writing and it makes both of us smile. We like being happy dreamers.

The other one is.... Das Giraffenlied (as per my naming)

My friend Khaled brought it with when he came for a visit. He thought I may like it for the line that says 'and I'll take you in my arm, close my eyes and dream of Africa' all of it happening in the darkness of the giraffe enclosure in a wintery German zoo. A bit cheesy, but he was right - I loved it and still do. It became my falling asleep lullaby and our driving anywhere song. I did not get as lucky as with Kervin, I think I had a once per hour allowance on your trip to Botlierskop. It was probably due to my "routine" that I was even allowed that much. I had a whole little hand routine down to go with the words of the chorus, which he would register with the tiniest smile in the left corner of his mouth.
It was also then when I fell in love with giraffes. After two hours of our three our game drive at the farm I got a bit nervous as we had not seen any. Luckily I seemed to have brought a gentleman along as Khaled promised me to find them elsewhere if we wouldn't see any. Never mind that he wouldn't even know where to even start looking for giraffes in the Western Cape. I did appreciate the gesture, but didn't need to worry though - we stopped a minute later and had drinks with four of them.

March 22, 2011

The noir in me.

I don’t have any hobbies. I don’t want any hobbies. I hate the concept of hobbies. The word reminds me of my childhood when each and every child would pass a book around to their friends and you had to fill in details about yourself. One line would always read Hobbies:. As a child it was quite easy - Mondays there was Ballet, Tuesdays and Thursdays Art & Crafts, Wednesdays flute or piano lessons. If you had nice parents you got the Friday afternoon off. I did most of these, but only half-heartedly. My passion was playing with my Barbies. But that wasn’t a proper hobby and couldn't be written down there.
I especially hated these books ever since I wrote in my friend’s that my hobby was cooking. I guess my handwriting wasn’t up to scratch, because instead of kochen he read kacken, which basically means taking a dump (sorry for a lack of a more prosaic word - you think of one, tell me and I will change it). So my hobby was taking a dump in the eyes of the guy I secretly had a crush on. Good one.

As an adult the concept didn’t necessarily become easier. These days people don’t ask for you hobbies, but ask you ‘what do you do for fun?’. I don’t know…drinking, eating, laying on the beach. Is any of that a proper hobby-esque activity? I do have fun doing them though.
So with the decline of the French German relations, I decided that it was maybe time for a new and proper hobby and to mingle. Realizing that it needed to be an activity that I already enjoy per se, but also learn something new, I signed up for a wine tasting course. Once a week over six weeks seemed like a perfect little introduction to get back into a hobby.
Today was the first meeting and over the course of the day I got a bit nervous. I felt a bit like a kid on the first day of school again. Where will I sit and are the other kids going to like me and will the teacher give us a surprise quiz?
I got to the Old Biscuit Mill and it was worse than I imagined. Not only a whole schoolyard full of kids I didn’t know, but they already all knew each other and had brought friends along. Luckily I am a grown up now and was entitled to a glass of welcome bubbly. First lesson learned - bubbly makes the world a friendlier, happier place.
Gathering all my courage I decided it was a better option to pick a seat first and see who would join me than having to sit in whatever seat was leftover later. I got actually lucky and was shortly joined by two girls who seemed nice enough and a somewhat handsome guy who I had been eyeing earlier (which never happens on a plane with my seat neighbour). We turned out to be a good team i.e. no spitting at our table and all glasses empty at the end of the evening for good weather.
On the programme a wine that I hate - Chardonnay - and a wine I adore - Pinot Noir. An interesting combination that promised for an interesting evening.

What did I learn? Alcohol is to wine what butter is to food. A little unhealthy, but you just can’t and don’t want to do without. I also know now that I am officially called an ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) girl, who can still be pleasantly surprised by the ‘but’, and an IIH (I’m In Heaven) girl for getting to taste the most divine Pinot Noir. We were also taught that Pinot Noir is a fickle grape. It's need this and that, but not too much. Likes space and to be left alone at times. And even if you think you are doing everything right, it may still turn its' back on you and spoil your harvest. If you get a harvest, the result is equally polarizing - some people hate it, most don't get, but if you love it, you will love it forever. I like that. It sounds like me.

The most important lesson I learned at the end of evening by a rookie mistake I made - never ever leave a wine course without buying a bottle to take home with you. It will leave you with a lingering sad aftertaste and just longing for more.

The moon is half full.

Tuesday after a long weekend, realizing it is almost still dark when I have to get up and it is raining...nice one! Therefore a quick and happy recap on my pre-weekend to do list and what I can now proudly cross of. I did re-do my nails. No picture. The nail polish decided to start chipping immediately again. Does it therefore count as one point on the list mission accomplished? You decide...
I shamelessly admit that I didn’t do anything else from my to-do list neither did I attempt to do anything else from my to-do list. That somehow feels less better attempting, but not managing. Like painting my nails unsuccessfully; it’s just sad.

I did however manage a lot of other things, therefore happy recap...

I managed to forget the contents of my fridge and enjoyed the most divine sea urchin spaghetti and company at Mezzaluna. Also learnt new words in Italian and Swedish in the process so the whole evening had an educational value to it.
I re-arranged my vanity/electricity shelf and spend a good five minutes of visualization of what my closet will look like once I am done with that one. I also spend an hour and half a fortune at Country Road, which results of will look nicely in that soon to be organized closet of mine.

I had lots of fun with a naked Mexican and am now proud owner of two (!) We ♥ Real Beer glasses.
I also had the somewhat profound realization, non drinking related, that the only thing I love more than teaching a yoga class is teaching a yoga class where I can make someone laugh. Laughing and yoga is the perfect combination, I think, but like laughter and sex highly underrated. I vow to do more.
In addition I played with the cutest kittens ever, attended my first stork tea and drank bubbly on the deck in the sun. All in all not bad for a little three day weekend.
For everyone who was as disappointed as me by the moon equinox I will just say - the moon is still half full for the rest of the week and it looked pretty in pink last night- enjoy!

March 17, 2011

To do will not do.

Being on top of the world yesterday, I am feeling a bit un-inspired today, which may has to do with the fact that the German-French hostage exchange will take place in couple of hours. My last night was also rather normal – I turned myself, my teacher and Adam into a pretzel and had everyone watching rolling on the floor with laughter. I am still pondering how I am supposed to do that in class without having a similar effect on the rest of the students. It will go on my to-do list for the rest of the week I think.
To-do-for-the-rest-of-the-week list:
1.       Figure out how to help people turn into pretzels without others falling over in laughter and me falling over in the process.

My friend sent this to me in an email today.
They are not really pretzels yet, but wow good
Utkatasana for their age.
2.       Organize my closet. That was on the list of the beginning of summer already, but the list got lost. Therefore by popular demand back on the list.  
3.       Put screen saver picture and ring tones on my new/old phone and write another sweet letter to Vodacom. Or not.
4.       Re-glue my Piazza Sempione cuff yet again. It just doesn’t like being banged on tables. I wonder why...
5.       Eat all the food in my fridge before I buy more and resist the urge to stuff my face with Mezzaluna’s sea urchin spaghetti. That will be a toughy.
Couldn't bring myself to get closer.
6.       Actually repaint my nails before they completely chip off and I look like a trailer park lady. Or Britney Spears. Whatever comes first.
7.       Cleanse my aura. Never a bad idea.
My coral aurosoma - you can tell
by the bottle they have seen a
fight or two.
8.       Finally frame my Camera Obscura poster from Rez. I have loved this poster ever since I saw it in his flat in NY last August and when he came to Cape Town he brought me my own. Yay. Will also make a point of actually listen to them.
9.       Follow the latest inspiration and read Die Brüder Löwenherz again. I actually love this story so much and I think it is because it has it all: adventure and evil dragons and lots of drama, but the best happy ending ever.
10.   And then this:

World Domination. Always a favourite.

11.   Find better post topics for my blog than to-do lists. That’s a promise.

True love's crush.

I found this on my Yahoo site today and had to share. Exactly what I was talking about in my earlier post about 10 Signs, but for our day and age. Remember in primary/middle/high school? One still needed a pencil, paper and at least some rudimentary maths skills. But now wow. Just type in two names and click. And if the result isn’t what you wanted, you can always blame the non-existent spell check for names...

March 15, 2011

En masse is enough.

Due to the recent events I decided last night that it was far more important to spend money on my well-being in form of a massage than on the well-being of my car in form of finally buying a new spare tire. It also went much better with the Admirable Me theme of the week; my car is very cute and already gets enough attention as it is.
Now I am delighted to announce that Hakim moved swiftly onto the no 1 spot of the monthly guy who left the most memorable impression on me list.  He works at Enmasse, which has been my favourite massage parlour (can I say that??) ever since they opened.
Good reasons why that is:
a.       It is basically next to my home/work, therefore constitutes as extended living room, therefore I can just roll out of bed and I’m there.
b.      It is open when I need it to be open. Kind of like a healthy McDonald’s.
c.       You walk in and the smell already makes you feel better. Airy happy pills and just as addictive.
d.      They give you funny outfits that are very complicated to put on (for me), but me trying always makes me giggle and gives Murray, the owner, a good laugh as well.  
e.      You feel like you ended up in a sexy sort of heaven with white cloud like mattresses and high night sky ceilings and French music (okay, nothing heavenly about that this week). It could only be better if they served cocktails instead of tea.
f.        I walk out of there with very dishevelled hair and don’t ever mind. No, wait, I never mind dishevelled hair. But for everyone else who may mind that would be a good point. Believe me you won’t mind.
Those are the basics. Now I want to get to the really good part and rave about my massage: It is part yoga class part love affair. No dirty grins here please! That is what a good massage should be.
My favourite of course is the head massaging and stroking. I am a complete sucker for head massages and usually I don’t get one unless when they wash my hair at the salon (and they are never thaaat good) or the one time when I asked for an Indian head massage (which came with a downside of having a litre of oil poured onto my hair).
So there I was yesterday – happy little head massagee. With happy feet to go with, because Hakim returned to them frequently so they ‘wouldn’t feel left out’ when he was busy with my head/arms/back. Very thoughtful indeed. My feet thanked him and my sore knee has been quietly bending ever since it was touched by him. Needless to say I left a very happy girl, rose like phoenix from the ashes this morning and felt much better than a new spare tire could ever make me feel.
If you wonder why there is no picture included – I had a slight disagreement with Murray about their logo (which admittedly would have made sense to include). Me: This looks like the scary movie The Ring. Murray: No way! It’s a love circle.
Sorry, no love circle on my blog, way too Austin Powers for my liking. Disagreement settled. I win.

March 14, 2011

Admirable Me.

After short but intense negotiations, the French-German relationship has officially come to an end. Not through mutual agreement by both parties, but it has also been confirmed from German side that any relations are literally off the table now.
Therefore it is now the beginning of the official Admirable Me week to celebrate the, well, admirable me. After getting an earful from Thekla for only publishing my funny faces, I hereby commence celebrations by showing the world my not funny face. Oh, yes, I also realized that this blog only shows my picture very, very tiny and I thought I should at least once show why we went through all the hardship of making me smile in front of a camera.

In addition my apparently very admirable bucket list, published. Whoop, whoop.

Now I am off, starting the week. Off to conquer the world as usual. Thanks to all my friends, who love Pinky and the Brain, and have quoted this to me (volunterily or not) many many times.

March 13, 2011

10 Signs that you like a boy.

Back in the day the signs that you liked a boy were easy to spot: you were doodling his initials all over your notebook, calculated multiple times by counting the letters of your and his name till the outcome clearly spelled HE LOVES YOU, and realized that any love song ever written was clearly about the two of you.
Of course once somewhat grown up you don’t do stupid things like that. Therefore it gets a bit harder to realize if you truly like a guy. To make it easier for everyone I therefore compiled a list. The 10 signs that you like a boy grown up list:

  1. You almost fall down the steps to get to your phone which just biped because it might be an SMS from him.
  2. You get edgy when in the bathroom, taking out the trash or in a yoga class - you may miss a call from him.
  3. You hijack your boss’ dog, because it will bark alarm when he may arrive on his motorcycle.
  4. You shower and put on new make up before you go to bed in case he comes for a surprise sleep over.
  5. You don’t eat. If you are alone you don’t have an appetite, if you are with him you don’t have an appetite.
  6. If you do eat, you agree to eat delivery pizza every time you meet, because spending time in the kitchen would imply spending time apart from him.
  7. You look like a sleep-deprived mother of a newborn. Sleeping is wasting time better spend laughing, talking and making love.
  8. You spend a month’s salary on beauty products and then leave them in the box after he tells you how beautiful you are first thing in the morning.
  9. You can’t bring yourself to be grumpy in the morning even though all roommates you ever had used to be scared of your morning moods.
  10. You doodle your and his initials with a little heart in the middle.
Some things never change, but mainly it’s nice to know that you are a grown-up and won’t make a fool of yourself anymore.

Sure sign he doesn't like you - you know. You just know even before he tells you that he is breaking up with you. You will live on liquid diet for a weekend and behave like a menace to the public. Then you realize food is great, you will hold your chin up high and smile, knowing there is someone who will do the exact, well, 10 stupid things when he gets the privilege of meeting you.

March 11, 2011

Confessions of a Pastaholic IV*

Chapter 3: Pasta in the making. - * For Oliver, who really believes he is a bigger pastaholic than me. Yah, right.

Sorry, only back on the pasta now. I have been having a sneaky affair with some pizzas...
Thanks to my Dad and his ravioli with morels, I realized early that home-made pasta is the perfect food for special occasions and is great to impress potential boyfriends (that I figured out by myself though). It is also quite easy; that is, if you have the proper tools...
I remember one pasta making event when I lived in Hamburg. I had the tiniest furnished flat ever with a fancy pull out couch, a less fancy fold out table and no kitchen space whatsoever. I had invited a guy from my office for dinner and it had to be good – I had a major crush on him. In hindsight he should have taken me out for dinner first and proven worthy of my homemade pasta, which of course it turned out shortly after that he wasn’t. But I was 20, crazy about him and already knew that the love to a man’s heart goes through his stomach. Therefore fresh pasta was on the menu. I went to the store spending my entire internship money on fresh zucchini, pine nuts whose price tag still brings tears to my eyes thinking about it now, and a bottle of white wine I had decided on after discussing options on my cell for ten minutes with my brother.
I wish I had a picture of what was to follow – imagine a 20-year old version of me, balancing on the side of the fancy pull out couch (folded together), rolling dough frantically with the bottle of wine (to be drunk at a later stage) on half of the fold out table (as there was no space to fold it out all the way). Fifteen minutes later I was sweating. Believe me pasta dough can be a tricky little bugger to roll especially in above described scenario.
Was it worth it? The pasta was, the boy wasn’t. Happy there is no picture of that. I learned my lesson and over the years I chose more carefully who to make pasta for. Only the crème de la crème of my friends got so lucky. For them I would roll up my sleeve and work up a sweat, using many different wine bottles, sitting on many different more or less comfortable seating arrangements.
The wine bottles went back to their original purpose when one year my NY friends gave me my first (!) pasta maker. You can see what a happy day it was:

For Marie as well:

I titled this picture “Marie Air Pasta”. I think she is singing in anticipation of the treats to follow.
This beloved machine actually made it back with me to Germany, but when I moved to Cape Town with only 1.5 suitcases it wouldn’t fit. Fancy that, because it seems my Cape Town friends appreciate my pasta just as much and gave me my second (!) pasta maker for my birthday last year.
If you are hungry now and feel the need to cook and eat yourself into home-made pasta food coma, this is how it’s done:
Pasta history was made that day.

March 9, 2011

Funny face.

This is for Jazmin, who always says I have a funny face.
Like everybody I know, I hate having my picture taken. I blame my brother. He, a professional fashion photographer, agreed to take my passport picture when I was 16. I was obviously hoping that he could do what the official passport picture machines never manage: make me beautiful in 35x45mm (standard German passport picture size in case you are wondering). I saw my picture which he took, hated it and accused him bitterly of being a bad photographer. His reply: A photographer is only as good as the model he has. My ego was bruised and ever since I blame him for my unwillingness to be in front of a camera.
Last weekend I decided it was time to grow some balls though and finally have my picture taken for this blog. I chose the best person possible for this mission impossible: my friend Thekla. Some knowledge about photography, a good camera and most important of all – she always sees me with a loving eye and tells me when to lift my chin.
A couple of hours later it was mission accomplished and it didn’t even hurt. Here are the funny face take-outs:

From top left: Funny fish face, Why is the sun always shining?, Yes, I am a supermodel, I ate too much pizza, What the heck is he doing?, Get it off!
The picture I finally decided on will be up here soon. It was a hard battle to pick the right one, but in the end I picked that ONE because it is just very me: Sporting a slight ironic smile, showing bra strap, messy hair up, and sunglasses* – me in a nutshell. And also it is quite cute.  At least I like to think so. Dare to disagree!
*Another item on the What I Wore Today list which I forgot and is quite essential. I think I need to re-do that list...

Queen of Tarts.

Just needed to share this picture from my birthday:

I was 'forced' to put my pink cake bow in my hair and chose a little bow in bow style. Nikki said I looked like a tart. I felt a bit insulted as I do not consider myself a very tarty person at all and was wondering what alternative hair styles there are with a pink ribbon involved. Nikki suggested to put it around my forhead to which I replied that I am neither a Native American nor a Hippie. She looks at me, looks at my bow and says: "No, you are not a hippie, you are a tart!" And laughs. Happy Birthday to me!

March 8, 2011

Let me eat cake.

Sorry for the cliché headline. There is just no other word for yesterday. It seemed like the birthday Gods wanted to make up for 31 years of celebrating without a cake. My family is not big on cakes. They are big on cooking, but I have not seen either of them to ever bake a cake (my mother will debate this fact vehemently, but for the sake of the story: my family does not bake).
When I was a child we had a housekeeper, who I lovingly called ‘Frau Waldi’, from a tiny village outside my home town. Whenever they had birthday celebrations there, apparently the whole village gathered and baked cakes for the birthday girl/boy. Each baked one. So on any given Monday morning Frau Waldi may appear at our house with a big container of left over cakes. What a feast for a little cake deprived child like me!
Even for my birthdays I would not get cake. I got sweets instead. Don’t get me wrong – I loved it. My Mum would put a huge tray with all my favourite sweets together and we would sing and gather around Haribo, Kinder Schokolade, and Mikado chocolate sticks. One year she even put lychees on the tray, a rare treat for a girl in the middle of nowhere Germany. I loved lychees. One for me and each child invited. I lucked out, because most of my friends had never seen a lychee before and refused to eat theirs. More for me – hurray!
What a surprise it was that upon moving to Cape Town I realized that the South African side of my family also doesn’t do birthday cakes, but trays. The only difference is that they add biltong on top. Apparently the kids would refuse all the other sweets without it. I think biltong on my trays would have made for another lychee-esque experience amongst my friends.
Getting to the point here...yesterday things were different. The birthday Gods became cake Gods and they were smiling. Thekla who cooked me birthday dinner had already told me she was making me cake. Quite a big thing coming from her as she is usually not big on cakes. Excitement starting already pre-birthday...
Next thing I know it was 9am birthday morning and I was starving. My stomach didn’t like the fact that it had not been fed any pizza the night before and was growling (more on why I am officially addicted to pizza these days later...). Man to the rescue – I got a call asking me to come downstairs. There he is with the most amazing piece of raspberry deliciousness from Cassis and a pink candle...because I’m a still a little pink loving girl at heart (not that he knows that there was a time when my entire wardrobe was Barbie pink). Breakfast delivery in the most perfect way.

I devoured it, so sorry only the candle
was left by the time I got to picture taking.
An hour later I spot my boss walking in with another little purple box. More excitement for me in form of a little Cassis chocolate bomb. Or whatever the French, probably more elegant sounding, equivalent would be called.

My hands slightly shakey in excitement..

And a pink ribbon too!
Then things started to get really exciting. I was  on the phone with my Dad when aforementioned friend Callie from Cakebread walked in with a job recon. He was waiting by my desk for me to finish and a cheeky question of ‘Where is my birthday cheesecake?’ was on the tip of my tongue. He beat me to it: “Happy birthday! Your cheesecake is in the oven and I will deliver it later.”

Aaaaaaawwwwh. I was in official cake heaven. Thank you cake Gods, you rock my world!

March 3, 2011

The J Word.

Yesterday I was playing my own version of Stadt Land Fluss: Find an adjective with each letter of the alphabet to describe me. You can guess I didn’t play by myself, but in fact was merely adding if I didn’t like the suggestions - E for exhausting? Come now! When one could rather call me elegant, eagle-eyed (okay, that would be a complete lie), eloquent... you see my point. So when I was called terms like exhausting, I had to step in and help out.
The next few letters went down a lot better, but then we got stuck on J. Jealous was the first thing that popped into my mind – oh joy. Needless to say I wasn’t going to say that out loud. So this morning, since I don’t own an actual dictionary, I made it my mission to look up words with J online. I was looking to find lots of words like fabulous, amazing, sexy, etc. starting with a J. No such luck. The best I found were joyful, jubilant, and joyous (pretty much the same as joyful if you ask me). Anything better doesn’t exist. I found:
Jawed: yes, I have a jaw. Revelation of the day.
Jet-lagged:  only applies about twice a year.
Juicy: not that bad I guess.
Jussive aka bossy. Me? Never.
Then I already had to move onto the nouns for anything interesting (don’t ask how I defined interesting this morning):
Jack-in-the-box: I’m just amazed that made it in a dictionary.
Jamaica rum: goes without words.
Jellyfish: I like a lot, especially on a plate at Kyoto Garden.
Jeu d’esprit:  hope this will be one!
Journey Cake: padkos? No, term for some sort of corn cake in New England.
Juju: that’s magic. The son of my Hamburg flatmate was called Juju. How cute!
Juneteenth: history lesson for the day - “June 19, an African-American holiday commemorating the date in 1865 when many slaves in Texas learned they had been freed by the Emancipation Proclamation (January 1, 1863).”
Now come a whole lot of junior boxers: junior bantamweight, junior featherweight, junior flyweight, junior heavyweight, junior lightweight, junior middleweight. All of them full-fledged dictionary words.

Then I lost interest in the Js, hoping to move onto the I soon (I’m thinking incredible, intelligent, inspiring). One last thought went to the dear Oxford dictionary people though: why can I find junk bond but not James Bond? That just doesn’t make sense to me, especially since he is British too...
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