Bucharest – Berlin – Bucharest

This entry covers 10 days.

It started on the 12th, when I was so excited to leave on vacation to Berlin. However, a gloomy piece of news dampened my sunny disposition. My beloved Terry Pratchett left us for good.

Suddenly this planet is not so jolly any more. I wept and sobbed until late in the evening. I promised myself my first meal in Berlin shall be sushi, in his memory, as he loved this dish so much.

The next day I left with my bestie to the airport, where we parted for a while, as she wanted to eat and I wanted to smoke. You shall see that smoking is a leitmotif of this entry.

It was fun that we started dialoguing on FB, so people were confused: “why do you speak here, aren’t you together?!”

We looked like idiots, not that we’re not used to it.

Moving on, we traveled to Berlin. Yes, the first meal was sushi, honoring my beloved departed Sir Terry.

The trip was a complete success in every aspect. This time, my feet weren’t swelling like balloons, the weather was welcoming and everything was great: food, shopping, walks…

In one of the days we visited Charlottenburg, a castle where Sophie Charlotte lived a short but full life.

She collected china and fascinating people like Leibnitz or Corelli. She convinced her husband to support an Academy of Science. She played the

harpsichord and she held music in high regard. I’m sorry I didn’t write down her quote on music, which reminded me of the lyrics of a Marilyn song: “Men grow cold as girls grow old and we all lose our charms in the end.”, though it was about the power of music. I’m trying to approximate from memory: “lovers grow cold, friends become lukewarm, but music never lets you down.”

Both me and my friend shook our heads vigorously in approval of this statement.

Moving on, we lived in a rented apartment that allowed smoking inside, quite a rare gem these days. Well, surprise, surprise! I didn’t like it at all! I’m not used to the lingering smell of cigarettes inside anymore. I stopped smoking in my house since 2012, when I was on holiday in Stockholm, visiting friends and nobody is smoking inside there. Coming back home, I brought the good practice along, mostly because my beloved ALF was slightly asthmatic and I wanted to protect him. Though he’s gone, the habit stayed. Anyway, Joop can’t stand the smoke, she runs from the kitchen the moment I light a cigarette.

So now, though I’m a chain smoker, I HATE houses that stink with burned tobacco.

You’ll see I’m getting somewhere with this smoking thing.

Getting back to our trip, the apotheosis of the holiday was a mesmerizing Sting & Paul Simon concert. We sang our hearts out, we charged from Sting’s positive energy that radiates wide enough to cover the O2 Hall and we were happy as kids on Christmas morning.

OK, so we got back in Bucharest, only to attend two more concerts. One at my favorite concert hall in town – Ateneul Român, the other in a very unconventional space – a villa where there’s an art gallery, a minute concert hall and a space to enjoy delicious food. There I met a very special lady. At first, I thought she’s a Chef, but she started telling me about her projects and her foundation that preserves local traditions and values. I was wondering while talking to her how many special people are in this country that are trying to save our treasures of the past?! They have my entire veneration.

Oh, getting back to the leitmotif, it was interesting that in this location, though there were ash trays on the tables, nobody lit a cigarette until the host lighted one. After that, at least half of the audience started smoking. But in moderation, though the wine was pouring generously.

And we arrive on this Saturday when a friend of mine posted an article about banning smoking in bars. Bars, pubs, clubs, restaurants, whatever. The law that is applied already in US since the 90s and in Europe since the 00s. The reason my friend posted the article wasn’t the actual content, but just one thought: “guys, we have more important things to fix in this country, this shouldn’t be top priority.”

I read the article because, as a smoker, I’m curious to find some solid evidence supporting smoking, because until now I couldn’t find valid reasons. I WANT to support smoking, but I can’t find the right arguments to support it.

Anyway, when my friend posted the article, he was flooded with comments. I’ve never seen such a demented debate, even during elections or any other local subject. To my surprise, the argument continued for almost two days, from reasonable pros and cons to personal abuse, invectives, accuses, offenses, and curses. I couldn’t believe my eyes people would spend such an amount of time and energy for such a trivial matter. I mean, for Christ sake, I haven’t seen such a war when animals or people were killed or abused, when flagrant illegalities were committed… Such anger, such hate…

You know what’s funny? The smokers were the balanced ones and the non smokers were aggressive! So smoking keeps you calm and level headed after all! OK, I’m joking, kids, don’t smoke.

Anyway, I’m done with the smoking trip. Getting back to my experiences, I bought a book I love. I heard about this character years ago, but now I’m reading the story and it’s amazing. It goes like this: a homeless recovering drug addict gets saved by a CAT. A ginger wise Tom that saves his life every day since the day they met.

I highly recommend this inspirational story, it warmed my heart beyond words.

Especially as I’m a firm believer in being saved by animals, especially a ginger Tom.

bob

on Gods of all sorts.

Two completely unrelated subjects, but I’m getting somewhere… I hope.

1

I saw a lovely movie. Basically, a crazy dog and a crazy guy meet. I agree, sometimes a pet can save a human. The pet would tame a spirit and would melt a heart. No, not only cats train humans, dogs do to.

BUT, because there’s a big BUT in the picture, at least one of them has to be sane. Or at least in a good place. I don’t say “happy”, as “happy” is overrated. Hence “in a good place”. If you’re a mess, a knot of neurosis and stress and your pet has been subjected to some form of abuse… happy end is possible only in the movies. You have a savior and a victim. Two victims are able only to traumatize each other even deeper. I didn’t buy Silver Lining Playbooks, but I buy Leaving Las Vegas.

It’s the same in a relationship between two humans or in one between a human and a very tolerant pet.

At least the human must be willing to be saved. And the benevolent furry four paws creature shall save him.

I thought of my ALF who saved me sooooo many times I shall never be able to recount. He was a strong personality and dominated me almost 100% and I worshiped him beyond words. But also I was clinging to him like a drowning person sometimes, and every time he would save me.

His legacy was inherited by Joop, the mad Maine Coon who is currently running my house. When we met, I was devastated after losing ALF, she was coming from a life of abuse and lack of affection. The dynamic was different, we saved each other willingly. She tamed me because I gained her trust and now we save each other every day. A mad God and her mad worshipper in perfect harmony.

2

In an unrelated story, the U.S. economy – the indisputable source of consumerism and bad quality products is devouring it’s children and trying to stop being devoured by others. Macy’s and JCPenney are closing stores, SkyMall is shutting down and the latest, craziest story is that Cadbury is not allowed across the pond, mainly because it’s American archenemy Hershey is suffering losses by comparison of quality. Such a better quality product might make consumers question their money worth. Why pay on a bad quality product, when you have a better, tastier alternative?

It reminds me yet again of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods that shows the perpetual struggle for Gods to live, by manipulating their believers and destroying smaller Gods. You never know when you become the lesser God that gets squashed in the stampede. I feel we’re witnessing the last flounder of such greedy Gods, we shall see their demise, like obsolete dinosaurs unable to keep up with evolution.

Amen.

bottom line

Again, another year is gone and I’m looking back at what happened. Judging by my photos on Facebook, it seems like it was a GOOD year all around.

Well, I’m asking for less and less, as time goes by and faith smacks me over the head with various surprises.

GIFSec.com

But all in all, pretty good! Starting from the fact that I have a job I like, in a place I like surrounded by people I like, continuing with “none of my cats died and they seem to do just well”, I’m pretty healthy too, I fell in love with Pilates – there’s been 3 months already since I’m diligently going, my stomach became smarter than my brain and it rejects what’s bad for me, I began to choose more carefully who’s worth my emotional investment and time, just one holiday in Berlin, fewer memorable concerts: Rod Stewart and Hugh Laurie, but maybe next year will be richer in travels and concerts.

Less shopping, but more wise decisions – choosing a few statement pieces instead of buying rags.

It was a year of surprises, reunions with friends from long ago, childhood and university. It was both mushy and happy, we instantly clicked and laughed our heads off at the same old jokes. It was very emotional and truly unforgettable.

I feel the entire humanity is trying to crawl out of the pit: people are beginning to distillate information – not anything on TV or on the internet is true, I feel the dark ages are fading and a new era is dawning.

I meet very young people who are cultured. They know so many interesting things, that I feel like a caveman. So my hope stays with them, a new generation with an insatiable appetite for music, art, movies, but also technology and gadgets… it’s amazing to listen to them. And it’s not just one or two, they keep coming. They are environmental conscious, without being maniacs, they lean naturally toward healthy living, healthy feeding, healthy ethics and morals.

Electing a completely unexpected president is another reason for hope. He has German roots, he was a very appreciated mayor of a beautiful city, he didn’t accept euthanasia of the dogs, but he approved the western system of catch and release, he has a wife who obviously adores him and 5 cats. I hope and pray he will be the President this country needs and deserves after so many years of corruption and such bad decisions.

I feel very optimistic for the future, it’s a completely different vibe in the air.

Enjoy the ride!

zen

feminist anecdotes

I always hated feminism. Actually, I posted about it before. In the sense that I don’t want to be treated like a buddy, I want to be treated like a lady. I usually have it my way.

However, this post is about women who got smart and women who didn’t. It goes like this.

 First scenario: three years ago, a woman in her late 40s came to a fitness guru begging for help to save her marriage.

She claimed her husband was calling her fat and he wasn’t attracted to her anymore. So she started to work out and diet. She didn’t give up, she persevered, fighting to keep her husband. Now she is Jennifer Anniston fit.

Also she divorced the idiot who was offending her, she has a young lover and she is blissfully serene and head over heels in love.

You go, girl!

Second scenario: a woman abandoned by her husband 10 years ago. Divorced, confused, she reached out for help. She started therapy. Ten years went flying by. TEN. She’s single. She didn’t have at least one flirt or one date. She couldn’t jump back in the pool. Her therapist, may her license be removed, is preaching her the following imbecile line: “God left man and woman like two halves. We are not supposed to live alone, but to find our halves to be complete.”

Also, she says that “the children need a male figure in their lives.”

So the poor woman, who seems perfectly balanced, feels an absolute wreck and a failure for being single.

So, dear imbecile therapist, NO. People should feel comfortable by themselves to be comfortable enough to look for a partner. If God intended us to be mere halves, we wouldn’t be able to function independently. Also, I believe your fucking halves might be two men or two women, not a man and a woman, you fuckin’ cave… person!

And the male figure for the children… I assume their natural father is alive and well, why the fuck should she point to the plumber and explain to her kids: “look, this is a male. Repeat after me: M-A-L-E. Get it?”

Conclusions:

Look good for yourselves, not for a partner.

Stay single if you’re comfortable with your choice.

still

just keeping in touch

Should I brag about my progresses in Pilates classes and weight loss? Sounds boring. Just one line maybe. I love my trainer, she’s beautiful, smart, with a sense of humor, four stray dogs and two cats. You know how people develop emotional transfer for their therapist? Same here. I am so grateful for what she achieved… well, actually I achieved in such a brief time, that I truly love her. I can actually see in the mirror from one week to the next how my body morphs back into a human one, instead of the blob I became.

 

Wait, just another story, not exactly workout related, so not so boring. After one session, I was in the locker room with a lady. Just the two of us undressing back to back rather prude, when I noticed her dress, and I screamed like a hysterical groupie. It was a Moschino piece from a few collections back, that I loved. The lady froze, with her back against the wall, probably praying that I’m not some serial killer of a sort. I started explaining my sound until she was breathing regularly again.

MoschinoKittenDress

But moving on… During summer we had a free lance designer helping us. We were warned not to try bonding, talking or even staying too close to her. She was supposed to be Satan in a tiny frame with a doll face. Long story short, she made an exception, she likes me. She likes my writing too. And she comes to me with this promising speech that started with: “OMG, your writing is sooo good, you HAVE TO WRITE A BOOK.”

I answered rather flustered: “I don’t think I have anything interesting to say… anyway, not for an entire book.”

“Oh but your writing is so amazing, yet you’re an online copywriter. I mean… all you do all day is write ‘click here’. How can this fulfill you?!”

I tried to object feebly that this is NOT the only thing I do, but I caved.

 

In other news, I’m not getting out of character with a Joop story. I was away on a teambuilding for the weekend. Joop was so happy to see me on Sunday afternoon that she behaved like a loyal dog, licking my face and jumping around. Well, she’s the feline version of a Saint Bernard, so no surprise here.

 

The surprise was yesterday, when I started to climb up the stairs coming back from work. From the first floor, I could hear her voice yodeling. At first, I couldn’t believe my ears. She can actually identify my steps on the stairs. Only ALF was able to do that. So, overwhelmed with emotion, I started screaming in the building, to be heard through the door on the 3rd floor: “YESSS, MY LOVE, MOMMY’S COMING, BE PATIENT!!!”

Enough said.

cat

doing well, thank you very much

So I started regular massages and my feet are back together with my shoes.

I try to be more careful with what I eat. I had more salad last week than I had for the last two years. And I HATE salads. 

salad

Wearing high heels, especially my Casadeis makes me so happy already, but there’s still a lot of steep long way to go, as in losing a lot of weight and fitting in my wardrobe. No, not in the actual wardrobe as in furniture, but my wide range of clothing. 

From Monday I am starting my Pilates classes. I begged for a very tolerant instructor. I had my eye on a blonde, graceful smiling sunny lady, but she’s free next week. 

So they put me in someone else’s class instead. She seems a cross between a drill sergeant and an keen bulldog. We shall see whether she is as scary as she looks. I don’t want to burst in tears from my first session.

On the other hand I have experience with tough instructors. A few years ago, I subscribed to an Aqua gym class. For Christ sake, that woman was a Nazi. Shouting and scaring the shit out of me, I was panting desperately and swallowing gallons of water. 

i

By the end of the training, I was her favorite student, best buddies and an example for the others. Let’s see if I can pull that again!

time to rise and shine… again

 

A few months ago, while I was with my best friend on Easter holiday, she told me in a worried voice: “I don’t know why you gave up on yourself”. 

I pondered for a long time on that phrase. I realised that I became a mixture of self-loathing, narcissism, procrastination, over all exhaustion… 

Wonder_Woman_Ross_h1

And I hit rock bottom. I was feeling physically ill, my feet and legs were swollen like balloons, my precious shoes didn’t fit anymore. 

Surprisingly, this was the tipping point. Breaking off with my shoes was unacceptable. 

So it stops here. I started swimming and having regular massages. I already feel better and willing to fight my demons. 

I need to like myself again. The battle began.

 

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